Author: Terry Williams, Conservator
As we approach the end of the year, we at the lab wanted to take this moment to reflect on the year it has been and to thank all of you who have made it possible.
For us, we almost want to call it the year of the cannon. A long, long process (sometimes 10 years long), we completed the conservation of two beautiful Swedish 1-pounder cannons. Any of you who were able to visit the lab over the last year would have seen these as they went through their final stages of treatment. These two cannons were only a “small” part of the 78,314 objects transferred to the NC Maritime Museum in Beaufort this year for curation and display.
Outreach programs returned in full swing as we gave 20 lectures to members of the public, to fellow archaeologists at conferences, and to several university classes. Many of these talks were in conjunction with libraries across the state participating in the Collaborative Summer Library Program whose theme this year was “Oceans of Possibilities.” Lab personnel also attended local community events such as KidsFest, Pirate Fest, the grand opening of the new NC Museum of Natural Sciences in Greenville, and Feast of the Pirates to share the science and mystery that is the La Concorde/Queen Anne’s Revenge shipwreck at its heart.
While smaller lab tours continued (we led 54 tours this year), we also returned to our large-scale events. The first was held in April in conjunction with the NC Science Festival. We had over 350 visitors, with children of all ages participating in STEM activities.
The second, Saturday at the Lab, was held in November. Not only did the lab look its best, but it was also a beautiful fall day, perfect for the stroll to the warehouse. In addition to artifacts from our collection, other objects taken in for treatment were on display. These include the canoes from Lake Phelps, one almost 3000 years old, and artifacts excavated from blocks of soil removed from the Berry Site, a 16th-century Spanish/Native American site in Western NC. This event consisted of 8 tours with over 200 people registered to attend.
With a staff of only four full-time employees and two part-time graduate student helpers, these events would not be possible without volunteers. This year alone, we have had 37 volunteers giving over 1000 hours to our conservation treatments and outreach programs. We would like to give them our sincere thanks. And finally, we would like to thank YOU for all of the support over the years. We greatly appreciate it and are thankful for the opportunity to work at a job we truly enjoy!
We hope to see you in the coming year and wish you and yours a wonderful holiday season!
Head conservator Kim packing up C26 and C27 for delivery to NCMM. Image by NC Department of Natural and Cultural Resources.
Setting up C16 for photography prior to it starting desalination. Image by NC Department of Natural and Cultural Resources.
Paper cartridge removed from C16. Image by NC Department of Natural and Cultural Resources.
Elise giving a tour to Honors College students from ECU. Image by Dr. Tim Runyan. Used with permission.
Expanding bar shot after treatment and getting ready for transfer to NCMM. Image by NC Department of Natural and Cultural Resources.
Onion bottle after its removal from concretion. Image by NC Department of Natural and Cultural Resources.