Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Spectacle Island

Hello again everyone,

Today was another very interesting day exploring a new island of the Boston Harbor. Today our task was to travel to Spectacle Island and mull through through the different items intertwined along the shore line. We started out reading and identifying asbestos to be aware and avoid the objects containing this hazardous material. When we finally got to the place on the beach where we decided to setup our "archaeological camp," we split into teams of about 5 or 6 and started examining objects.

Quadrant #1: Our first 6ft. x 6ft. space was located about 40 feet from the shore line at the time and contain many interesting pieces. Spectacle Island is known for its sea glass and porcelain/pottery remains. In this area our group found a lot of beach glass of a variety of colors: brown, white, light/dark green, light/dark blue, and red. The most abundant colors were definitely white, green, and brown. The blues were a little more rare and I believe we only found one piece of red sea glass. Along with the sea glass we found quite a few periwinkle and clam shells which were all, surprisingly, small. Lastly, we found a bunch of pottery remains made out of porcelain like, plates and bottles their color was consistently creamy-white or brown.

Quadrant #2: After we identified the different pieces from our first area, we moved 15ft. closer to the water to determine if our findings would be any different. They were indeed. Though our findings were similar, we noticed that there wasn't nearly as much of everything found in quadrant 1. There was still a lot of white, green, and brown sea glass, but there wasn't any red, besides one scarce pink one which was very cool, and the blue pieces that we did find were very small. There was hardly any pottery and almost no clam/periwinkle shells.

Conclusion: After examining both areas and looking at the similarities and differences, it is fair to say the the weather, tide, and water current have a lot to do with where the sea glass, sea shells, and pottery resides. When the water is higher, it seems as though these pieces get washed up and settle, I believe that it doesn't settle lower because the current is too strong and washes it all up further.

Findings: The last thing that interested me was how the pottery and got there. One of the reasons you find the pottery with flower print on it is from a ship wreck in the 1950's, but what about the other pieces. I decided to check out the audio clip in the snack shack to find out more. It just so happens that there used to be a hospital on this island and although you would never know it, some of the porcelain on the beach came from toilets, sinks, and other things that were in that hospital. All in all it was a very intriguing and exciting trip.

Chris Connolly.

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