What ‘shoe’ don’t know about archaeological shoe fragments 

2018-08-07T14:59:11-04:00August 7th, 2018|

These shoe buckles are on view in the Conservation Lab at the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum. By Elise Carroll Assistant Archaeological Conservator Many significant pieces of history are often over looked because of the regularity of the items occurring. Bright, shiny, seemingly significant objects, such as cannon and coins take center stage, while mundane utilitarian items are often overlooked because of their everyday use. Unsurprisingly, many of the archaeological sites we [...]

Updates from the Lab

2018-05-01T13:15:43-04:00May 1st, 2018|

While our beautiful new Maritime Archaeology and Education Center (MAEC) was being built, conservation was disassembled and all artifacts were put into a state of monitored wet storage. Taking those items out of storage and getting conservation back on track has been a slow and detailed process. This process requires an inventory and condition analysis of all items, as well as setting up each area of conservation in order for treatments to begin. Though we [...]

Discoveries at the Barracks

2018-03-21T16:11:54-04:00March 21st, 2018|

The World War II-era United States Coast Guard (USCG) structure on site is currently being restored after serving as office space for many years at the Museum. The structure was constructed after the US entered into World War II. Before December 1941, the US military was in various stages of mobilization that included increasing military personnel, munitions and equipment. The official telegram that head keeper Daniels received, which initiated a military mobilization plan that [...]

Conservation Around Site – Harpoon

2017-03-15T08:00:01-04:00March 15th, 2017|

People have hunted whales around the world for thousands of years, primarily for meat and blubber. In America, the practice really took off in the colonial 18th century and hit its peak in the mid-19th. The most lucrative product at this point was whale oil, derived from boiling down blubber or harvesting the head of sperm whales. As the American industry grew and expanded, so did the whaling practices and technology, which is where our [...]

Clothing Mysteries

2016-10-26T08:00:54-04:00October 26th, 2016|

The vast majority of artifacts that come through conservation are from our shipwrecks excavated by LAMP. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of objects from the Storm and Anniversary wrecks waiting to be worked on. However, conservation activities for the LAMP sites have slowed down as we pack up and organize for the new building construction. There was also a little event called Hurricane Matthew that stifled conservation duties. We boarded up the Light [...]

Sifting through the muck

2016-09-28T08:00:17-04:00September 28th, 2016|

Every year, our research arm, the Lighthouse Archaeological Maritime Program (LAMP), heads out on the water to either survey for new wrecks, target test potential anomalies from said surveys or locate and excavate archaeological sites underwater. How exactly does LAMP work underwater and get the artifacts for the conservation team? Unlike a “traditional” land site, we cannot simply dig up the dirt and move it to the side with shovels and wheelbarrows. We instead do [...]

Conservation On The Move

2016-08-24T08:00:48-04:00August 24th, 2016|

The most exciting news around the Lighthouse these days is the imminent construction of new buildings for archaeology and conservation. The new Maritime Archaeology & Education Center will be approximately 2,500 square feet dedicated to offices, public education, exhibits and laboratory space. This community facility will be a welcome addition to the Lighthouse grounds and a fantastic experience for the guests. « Learn more about the Maritime Archaeology & Education Center and see a video from First [...]

2016 Field School Conservation Work

2016-07-27T08:00:19-04:00July 27th, 2016|

Summer is winding down and the 2016 Lighthouse Archaeological Maritime Program (LAMP) field school has successfully concluded. This year we had 12 students from across the country come to the Lighthouse. They came to learn about underwater archaeology, enhance their diving skills and help excavate our new Anniversary Wreck site. They also were able to learn about the important work that goes on post-field school, such as public outreach and conservation. With such a large [...]

Saying Goodbye to the Rudder

2016-06-29T02:00:58-04:00June 29th, 2016|

Ordinarily, in the conservation blog posts, new artifacts are discussed. Ones being worked on or items that have been finished and are ready to join the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum collection. However, this month’s post is about an artifact that is leaving our grounds and heading back from whence it came. In October 2005, a large northeaster hit the First Coast area. Because of the wind and storm surges, large shipwreck timbers were [...]

Continuing Conservation: The Beat Goes On!

2016-05-25T08:00:38-04:00May 25th, 2016|

In the previous blogs, I have discussed the varied and lengthy conservation techniques of Storm Wreck pieces. Typically, these methods start from the moment a site is discovered and an artifact is disturbed. Once the immediate environment and surroundings have changed, an artifact will start going through new corrosion changes. Students and/or LAMP divers have to treat objects very carefully underwater while they are dredging and carrying them up to the surface. Once on the [...]

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