Over the past thirty years, local historian and amateur archaeologist William Asadorian has donated three lots of archaeological artifacts to Fraunces Tavern Museum. Mr. Asadorian retrieved these artifacts (items such as a 17th century wine bottle, numerous wine glass stems, pottery shards, etc.) from various dig sites in Lower Manhattan, all within a few blocks of Fraunces Tavern.
These lots were received by the Museum in the early 80s and 90s and then subsequently stored in a manner which neither matches current museum standards or aids in research potential. At least two separate attempts have been made over the years to organize this collection, but these unfinished attempts have left the historical records and the objects themselves in an even greater state of danger and disarray. Executive Director, Jessica Baldwin Phillips, recognizes the importance of this collection which were discovered in over fifteen various boxes throughout the Museum, totaling almost 300 items and has initiated the project.
Collections intern, Colyn Hunt has been with the Museum since the fall of 2012. She has accomplished many great tasks in her 16 months. She has happily taken on the project to properly catalog and store the entirety of the Asadorian archeological donations. She has been awarded a stipend to complete this task.
Ms. Hunt began sorting through the scant puzzle of records, attempting to match each object with the archaeological site in which it was found, as recommended by the Society for Historical Archaeology. She is currently photographing each object and entering a description, condition report, and photos into the Museum’s database. The next steps in this project will be to devise and implement a proper storage plan for this large and diverse collection.
Ms. Hunt’s BA in anthropology from Hunter and her hands on experience excavating, sorting and identifying many 18th century artifacts at the archeological field school on the Dutch Caribbean island of St. Eustatiues makes her an excellent resource to assist the Museum with this long overdue project.
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