Artifact Conservation

A Quick Retelling of the Cuban Archaeologists’ Visit

2017-10-11T14:56:30-04:00October 11th, 2017|

From second left to right: Roger Arrazcaeta Delgado; Marcos Antonio Acosta Mauri; and Yoser Martínez Hernández of the Gabinete de Arqueología of Havana, Cuba at their rowing stations in the chalupa, “San Agustín”. By Dr. Sam Turner Between August 25th and September 14th the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum hosted an archaeological cultural exchange which consisted of a visit by three Cuban archaeologists, Roger Arrazcaeta Delgado, Yoser Martínez Hernández, and Marcos Antonio [...]

18th Century Cannon Conservation – The Next Step

2015-10-06T13:27:22-04:00October 6th, 2015|

On Wednesday, October 7, 2015, we will begin the final phase of conservation for the two large cannons from the Storm wreck. Removing concretion Lighthouse archaeologists excavated the guns in June, 2011, and brought them to the lighthouse. In the first phase of conservation, as much of the exterior concretion as possible was removed using hammers, chisels and air-scribes. This was to ensure no other artifacts were stuck inside the concretion, and if [...]

The Secret Behind a Storm Wreck X-Ray

2015-02-25T08:00:56-05:00February 25th, 2015|

When concretions are brought up from the Storm Wreck excavation site, they are documented meticulously. This is to in order to record the location and any possible relation to surrounding artifacts and the site as a whole. However, unless there are some very telling diagnostics or features, it’s usually very tough to tell what the concretion actually is. For this, we take the concretions to get X-rayed. A two-legged mystery Artifact 234 came out of [...]

Copper cauldrons

2015-01-28T08:00:53-05:00January 28th, 2015|

You never know exactly what you will come across when conserving artifacts. When an artifact is found on site, it is documented, photographed and X-rayed to determine what it is and if it’s something of interest to conserve. Sometimes, though, objects will be too thick or have too much material in the way to give a clear X-ray image. Fortunately, in some instances, the artifact is identifiable and easier to work on. In December 2010, [...]

Conserving the Past: Saving the “Storm Wreck” Cannons

2014-11-04T08:00:55-05:00November 4th, 2014|

As part of an exhibit project sponsored in part by the Department of State, Division of Historical Resources and the State of Florida, two of the largest and most recognizable artifacts at the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Museum are currently undergoing a little extra conservation. Visitors to the lighthouse have seen two cannons outside of the Keeper’s House for the last few years. The 4-pound long gun and the 9-pound carronade were excavated in the summer of [...]