SHOEBOX ARCHAEOLOGY: AN ARTIFACT IDENTIFICATION WORKSHOP
New Castle Community History and Archaeology Program
5 March 2006
A GUIDE TO ON-LINE RESOURCES FOR ARTIFACT IDENTIFICATION
This guide is intended to briefly introduce you to some of the Internet sites that are available for learning more about the historic-period archaeological artifacts you might find in New Castle. Because there are a wide variety of sources available, the information presented here is intended to offer you a starting point for learning more about artifact identification. Because many of these web sites include bibliographies and other reference lists, they will open leads to other sources of information that you might want to pursue. The back of this page lists some general resources for archaeology in Delaware.
Diagnostic Artifacts in Maryland
This web site provides a good introduction to learning about artifacts for the Mid-Atlantic region. While the site it targeted to Maryland artifacts, most of the information is broadly applicable to the Mid-Atlantic region. The web site is intended to assist people in recognizing the types of artifacts typically found in the region, the terms commonly used, and where to go to learn more. The site currently includes only information for prehistoric and historic ceramics, dating 1000 B.C. to the end of the 1700s. However, in the future it will be expanded to include other artifact types.
Maryland Archaeology Resource Guide
The goal of this web site is to provide non-professional (avocational) archeologists with access to free, reliable sources of information about archaeology. It is a clearinghouse for information and provides links to sites about artifact identification as well as archeological techniques, ethics, and virtual museums covering various aspects of American history and pre-history.
Five Points Archaeology
This web site provides an overview of archaeology conducted at Five Points in New York City and also includes a virtual exhibit of the artifacts found there. The “Feature Artifacts” portion of the site showcases photos and basic information about the types of artifacts found in an urban context dating from the late 18th century through the 19th century.
Historic Glass Bottle Dating and Identification Web Site
This web site is a work-in-progress with the ultimate goal of being able to answer questions about the date, use, and manufacturing technology of bottles produced in the United States and Canada between 1850 and 1950. Though it is not entirely complete, it currently offers a wealth of information about bottle identification, manufacture, typology, and dating.
Colony of Avalon Artifacts Web Site
Avalon was colony in Ferryland, New Foundland founded in 1621 by Lord Baltimore. The artifact portion of this web site offers an opportunity to view and learn more about some of the artifacts recovered at Avalon.
Evolution of English Ceramics
This web site was created for the nautical archaeology department at Texas A&M University. It includes an illustrated overview of English ceramic types from the 1600-1900s.
Jamestown Ceramics Research Group
The Jamestown Ceramics Research Group was formed to identify and define ceramic ware types that appear on sites in Jamestown, Virginia and vicinity. This web site currently has a focus on 17th century ceramics, but may later be expanded to include ceramics of other time periods.
Historical Archaeology Digital Type Collection at the Florida Museum of Natural History
This web site provides a digital type collection for historic ceramics dating 1492-1850. It includes an interactive “identify your sherd” feature, which allows you to input basic information about your ceramic artifact in order to identify it. There is also a browseable portion of the site that includes a broad range of ceramic types, including photographs, dates, and other information.
Twentieth-Century Artifacts Web Site
This web site offers information about artifacts of the more recent past. It includes basic dating information about objects such as beer cans, bottles, plastics, and other types of relatively modern artifacts that are found on archaeological sites.
General Information about Delaware Archaeology
Delaware Archaeology Month
May is Delaware Archaeology Month. This web site provides information about events and activities that take place during Archaeology Month. It also includes links to archaeological organizations and resources in Delaware.
The DelDOT archaeology and historic preservation web site features the archaeological projects that have been completed in association with DelDOT projects. It includes a list of projects and archaeological reports for sites in Delaware.
Delaware State Historic Preservation Office
The State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) works to identify, study, and record Delaware's historic buildings, structures, objects, districts, landscapes, and archaeological sites. They offer awareness activities that educate the public on the importance of preserving and protecting privately owned historic buildings and archaeological sites. Among other things, the SHPO web site includes an on-line guide to classifying Native American projectile points.
New Castle Community History and Archaeology Program
A web site with calendar, upcoming events, resources, and other information for the Community History and Archaeology Program is currently in the works. You will find a link to the temporary site on the personal web page of New Castle resident, Jim Meek.