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Charles Magill

Throughout this semester we have been going through artifacts excavated primarily from the Magill house by Steven Dyson and his students in the 1970’s. Cataloging and analyzing artifacts is a very interesting and unique experience. It’s like learning about someone by going through their garbage. Although not all of the artifacts we cataloged were left […]

We recently began to look at glass sherds from the Magill site. My thinking about this site has definitely changed over the course of the semester. Something I talked about in my presentation was the change in my thinking about who lived at the Magill site. I had originally thought of all the artifacts as […]

Hands-on Archaeology

My partner Dana and I began sifting through an immense bag of bag of blued transfer printed pearlware sherds. The cataloging process for this particular bag took us several lab sessions to go through. We first began our sorting process by matching up all the broken pieces, which was exciting every time Dana and I […]

Middletown History

I always hated learning about history. It was always presented as dry, boring things that dead people did. However, taking this class and performing research for my final project has made history come alive in a way I had never before encountered. I’ve been perusing issues of The Middlesex Gazette, Middletown’s first newspaper, and learning […]

With just a few short weeks left to go in the semester, my lab partner, Aidan, and I have finally finished our second bag of material! I’m proud to say that Bag #2 took us a just three lab periods. I wish we could chalk this up to our phenomenally-improved cataloguing skills, but I think […]

A recently assigned class reading on the challenges of writing archaeological literature for multiple audiences (such as members of academic disciplines outside of archaeology, members of the general public, etc.) prompted me to examine the manifold personal perspectives that have shaped – either consciously or otherwise – my approach to handling, sorting and identifying the […]

Wild Goose Chase

I have somehow, in the process of taking one archaeology class, become a giant nerd. My partner, Rebecca Kowal, and I are currently sorting through a bag of assorted redwares — a type of pottery that is generally orange-red to dark brown and made of a soft, porous material. Terra cotta, which was and still […]

Maker’s Marks

Most of the material we sift through in Middletown Materials is unmarked; we can date it or identify its source only by analyzing the particular features of the artifact, comparing those features to other pieces that have been found and reported in archaeological literature, and make a “best guess,” so to speak, as to from […]

Never-ending Bags of Bits

Being an English major with a passing fancy toward Archaeology, I am finding this class frustrating and rewarding. Having had no practical background in the science aspect, I’ve been whittling my way through a bag of blue and white painted pearlware sherds with my fabulous partner Morgan Hamill. What, at first, seemed an unsurmountable pile […]

Week Seven update. Miriam and I have finally come to an end with our first bag of sherds, after working for approximately four lab classes. Phew. To be honest, it was quite a challenge, considering that my knowledge of Archaeology and the process of sorting sherds was practically nothing before I entered “Middletown Materials.” Yet, […]