Conservation Treatment Reveals Details

In the conservation department last week, manual cleaning with a scalpel under a microscope revealed interesting decoration on a small medal recovered from Johnsontown, an archaeological site located in Charles County. The 1.6 cm by 1.2 cm artifact is a colonial period St. Benedict Medal and is thought to be used for, among other things, exorcism rituals(!). Everybody here was VERY excited – pretty sure there wasn’t anyone who hadn’t seen it (and consequent pictures of it) within an hour of the details being discovered.

Detail of St. Benedict

*Look for this unusual artifact to be the subject of an upcoming Curator’s Choice!


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