Updated Findings on Mary Washington’s Repaired Ceramics: Results of Mass Spectrometry Analysis and Experimental Archaeology

Summary

An analysis of ceramics excavated from Ferry Farm, George Washington’s Boyhood Home, revealed that a minimum of five vessels exhibited glue residue. These table and teawares are associated with Mary Washington, George’s mother, and have raised a number of questions. What is the composition of the glues? How were the adhesives prepared and would their production leave a signature on the landscape? What compelled Mary to mend these wares? What do these sociotechnic artifacts say about a woman of Mary’s standing and economic position? To begin examining these questions we turned to chemists working with Direct Analysis in Real Time mass spectrometry in order to establish composition of the residues. Additionally, archaeologists at Ferry Farm reproduced 18thc glue utilizing period recipes and conducted tests with them. This paper will present the results of chemical analysis of the glues as well as the experiments conducted at Ferry Farm.

Cite this Record

Updated Findings on Mary Washington’s Repaired Ceramics: Results of Mass Spectrometry Analysis and Experimental Archaeology. Melanie Marquis, Mara Kaktins, Ruth Ann Armitage, Daniel Fraser. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. 2014 ( tDAR id: 437136)

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Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): SYM-59,11