MAC Lab Conservator to Speak in NYC

Tomorrow evening, September 30th, three experts are scheduled to speak about the World Trade Center ship project at the New York Academy of Sciences’ program entitled “An Historic Hull on Hallowed Ground” presented by The Tribute World Trade Center Visitor Center. Archaeologist Michael Pappalardo, former maritime historian Norman Brouwer, and (our very own) head conservator Nichole Doub, will discuss various aspects of the newly discovered ship. Nichole will explain how she and the conservators at the MAC Lab stabilized the ship’s remains and she’ll also discuss options for its preservation.

Heeeeere’s Nichole!

*Want to know more? Click on The New York Academy of Sciences webpage.

Revolutionary War Artifacts

Conservators at the MAC Lab have just completed the treatment of several artifacts recovered from excavations at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. These objects are believed to be from the 1777-1778 winter encampment of a Continental Army brigade. Among the artifacts conserved are a knife, two bayonets, an iron belt axe (tomahawk), and several pewter regimental buttons. Because no fighting occurred at Valley Forge during the American Revolutionary War, archaeologists at the site believe they are seeing evidence of weapon maintenance and possible military training. Early this week, the conserved artifacts were returned to Valley Forge to be put on exhibit at the Washington Memorial Chapel, the site of the encampment excavations.

Bayonet before treatment

Bayonet after treatment

*Interested in information about the regimental buttons found at Valley Forge? Check out Curator’s Choice archives.

Archaeology Meets Dendrochronology

Dendrochronology, or tree-ring dating, is the science of analyzing and dating annual growth rings in trees. Rings result from the change in growth through the seasons of the year and one ring usually marks the passage of one year in the life of the tree. There is a connection between annual ring size and annual climate and this allows dendrochronologists to precisely date trees and, an important detail for archaeologists, it allows them to date objects MADE FROM trees. As a matter of fact, in many types of wood, dendrochronology can date tree rings to an exact calendar year. So, can dendrochronologist Paul Krusic, from the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University, precisely date the wood that makes up the ship parts from the WORLD TRADE CENTER SHIP? Well, he’s gonna try. Paul was at the MAC Lab earlier this month to examine the wood and begin his analysis. Precise dating might not be possible because the outer most ring (the one closest to the bark) is needed to determine an exact date and the wood that constructed the ship has been cut and shaped and may have lost that outer ring. We are hopeful though and can’t wait to hear what Paul has to say when his study is completed!

Paul Krusic is also a visiting research scientist at Stockholm University in Sweden.

War of 1812 Reenactment at JPPM

Prepare for battle! On Saturday, September 18th from 10am – 5pm, all ages will enjoy discovering the site of Maryland’s largest Naval engagement. This living history event includes battle reenactments with American and “British” reenactors, camp life, craft demonstrations, and hands-on activities. Admission is $3 per person or $10 per car. And don’t forget about Tavern Night! The same evening from 6pm – 10pm, you can celebrate the “high spirits” of 1812 in our version of a 19th-century tavern. Play games, sing songs, and prepare for lively entertainment! Food and beverage available. Admission is $10 per person or $8 for Friends of JPPM members. Dress in period costume for a $2 discount on admission!

Camp life

Reenactors in battle

Firing a cannon

Look Mom, We’re on T.V.!

Our staff was very excited this week when C-SPAN visited the MAC Lab to film its weekend program “American History TV”, a half hour program that features discussions with authors and historians, coverage of history events, and first person accounts of American history. The crew from C-SPAN filmed two half hours programs; one about the World Trade Center ship and another about the MAC Lab in general, including footage of our research and conservation labs and collections storage. The C-SPAN crew tells us they expect to air both programs sometime in late October or early November of this year. We will keep you updated!

Head Conservator Nichole Doub is becoming a real pro at press interviews

*American History TV airs each weekend on C-SPAN 3 from 10am ET on Saturday to 10am ET on Monday. Tune in!