Tuesday, January 1, 2013

More from Fredericksburg's Civil War Artifactual Past

As we ring in the New Year, I wanted to post an update on a subject I wrote about back in November. Fredericksburg, Virginia, was the site of a large battle in December 1862, and the event left a substantial mark on the city's material life. A cellar uncovered last year, for instance, contained a time capsule of Civil War artifacts preserved when the building burned soon after the battle. You can read an essay in the New York Times by the chief archaeologist who worked on the cellar site here.

Taking a cue from the British Museums "History of the World in 100 Objects" project and their own "History of New York in 50 Objects" (see my girlfriend Nicole's response here), the Times also recently published a "History of Fredericksburg in 21 Objects" featuring some really cool artifacts from the city's Civil War past.

The stencil used by Charles R. Powers, Company G, 19th Maine Infantry Regiment, to mark his equipment during the Civil War. It was excavated at Kenmore plantation, near Fredericksburg. Laura G. Galke, The George Washington Foundation, from here.

Virginia Commonwealth University's "Virtual Curation Unit" has been doing some great stuff with 3D artifact scanning, and you can see the results of their work on Fredericksburg's artifacts here. Here's just one example of why 3D artifact scanning is the way of the future.

A tinned sheet iron cup excavated at "Camp Misery," a federal winter camp near Fredericksburg. Ashley McCuistion, the Virtual Curation Laboratory and Virginia Commonwealth University, from here.

A 3D view of the same tin cup by Bernard K. Means of the Virtual Curation Unit, from here. How cool is that?!?!?!

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