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Fact-Checking Artifacts


Several pieces from the type collection are displayed.Thanks to the Fraser family, who owns and operates St. Augustine’s Fountain of Youth and Oldest Wooden School House, the Lighthouse Archaeological Maritime Program (LAMP) has acquired another tool that will assist in identifying artifacts.

Fraser Family Properties donated a type collection that will help LAMP archaeologists properly identify different types of recovered ceramic artifacts. There are 55 pieces—all recovered from excavations at the Oldest Wooden School House properties—including Native American, Spanish, English and imported Ming porcelain that can be compared
to found artifacts.

LAMP archaeologists will compare everything from pattern and type of glaze to the materials used to aid in identification. According to Kathleen McCormick, St. Augustine Lighthouse & Museum’s director of conservation, the clay body, or make up of the clay, is a great clue. “The color and texture can tell you where or when something was made. Was it thrown or molded? What is the style of decoration? The answers to these questions could likely tell you when and/or where it was made.”

Archeology has played an important role in the interpretation of both Fraser family sites. As stewards of some of this nation’smost important historic fabric, the Fraser’s have partnered with Flagler College, the University of Florida and the city of St. Augustine. Today, with the donation of this archaeological tool, they have reached out to help LAMP. To find out more about LAMP or the St. Augustine Lighthouse &Museum visit www.staugustinelighthouse.com or call (904) 829-0745.