“Whieldon Ware”

by Elizabeth S PaynterCART Lab Director

The team is back at Old Colchester Park and Preserve and has been finding some Whieldon ware. This decorative ware can be found on creamware ceramics and was primarily produced during the mid-eighteenth century. Like all creamwares the vessels are a refined white earthenware and have a clear lead glaze; however, Whieldon wares are easily distinguished by the sponged colors that give the ceramic a clouded or tortoise shell appearance. Whieldon “clouded wares” are decorated in colors such as brown, green, purple and yellow that were created by using combinations of metallic oxides. The term Whieldon ware might be a bit misleading since other potters besides Whieldon were producing the decorative creamware. Some archaeologists also classify the vegetable and fruit wares of the time period such as cauliflower ware as “Whieldon wares”.


FLMNH Ceramic. (n.d.). Whieldon Ware. Historical Archaeology. Florida Museum of Natural History (FLMNH). Electronic. https://www.floridamuseum.ufl.edu/histarch/gallery_types/type_index_display.asp?type_name=WHIELDON WARE accessed April 18, 2018

MAC Lab. 2015. Diagnostic Artifacts in Maryland. Maryland Archaeological Conservation Lab (MAC Lab). Originally Published 2002. Electronic. http://www.jefpat.org/diagnostic/index.htm accessed April 18, 2018

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CART Bi-Weekly Update

13 April 2018

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Ground Stone

by Colleen Boyle – Archaeological Technician

“Ground stone” is a broad term used to describe a prehistoric stone tool that has been shaped through the process of grinding, polishing, pounding, drilling, chipping or other methods of breaking down rock with another stone. These ground stones are usually made of courser igneous rock types because their textured surface makes them ideal for grinding against other materials. The process of making any stone tool can be time consuming and labor intensive, but the final product is a sturdy tool well worth the effort. Native Americans made a variety of ground stone tools like axes, mortars, pestles, and grinding slabs using these methods. The first known axes in Virginia date to around 5000 B.C.E. during the Middle Archaic (Egloff 1992).

Recently, a broken ground stone tool was discovered at an archaeological site in Fairfax County (pictured above). A tool like this would have been made out of a single stone, ground into the desired shape with a harder stone that would be able to chip away at the axe until it was the desired shape. This process makes it possible to create a notch where the tool could be bound to a wooden handle. Even though this ground stone tool is damaged, it was still a rare and exciting find for archaeologists in the field.


Egloff, Keith and Debrah Woodward. First People: The Early Indians of Virginia. The Virginia Department of Historic Resources. Richmond, VA. 1992

The University of Iowa. Ground Stone Artifacts Series in Ancient Technologies. The Office of the State Archaeologist. https://archaeology.uiowa.edu/ground-stone-artifacts-0 accessed March 30, 2018

Wright, K. 1992. A Classification System for Ground Stone Tools from the Prehistoric Levant. Paléorient, Volume 18-2. https://www.persee.fr/doc/paleo_0153-9345_1992_num_18_2_4573 accessed March 30, 2018

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Archaeology Goes High Tech

Here is an article from LiDAR News about the amazing work being done by the Fairfield Foundation of Gloucester, Virginia.  They are using drones to scan and photograph archaeological sites layer by layer.  Then, by generating a Digital Elevation Model (DEM), they 3D print each layer of each unit.  The layers are then stacked, creating an exact miniature of the site exactly as it was excavated.  Folks can literally peel back each layer revealing what lies beneath!


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CART Bi-weekly Update

30 March 2018

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In 3D

3D scan of flintlock gun hammer/cock scanned with Go!Scan 50 Scanner.

As noted in our most recent CART Biweekly, last month Dr. Bernard Means, Director of the Virtual Curation Laboratory at the Virginia Commonwealth University, 3D scanned and animated some of Fairfax County’s recently excavated artifacts. In 2014, Dr. Means scanned a spigot that we discovered at Old Colchester Park and Preserve. (See post on Rotating Spigot!)

A number of items were scanned including the flintlock gun hammer/cock pictured here. (See the CART bi-weekly Update from 22 September 2017 that includes a picture of the gun hammer still dirty from the field.)

To view the scanned and animated Fairfax County Park Authority artifacts, visit https://sketchfab.com/virtualcurationlab/collections/fairfax-county-park-authority

Photograph of oxidized iron flintlock gun hammer/cock.

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Fairfax County Government Closed, March 21

Fairfax County Government offices are closed today, Wednesday, March 21. That includes us.

For more information see the The Fairfax County Emergency Information Blog.

Other Websites:
The Fairfax County Park Authority Website
WTOP List of Closings and Delays

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