Sunday, January 26, 2014

Classic Era Archeology Tools

This is where it starts:
OK, here's an obscure request for information. I'm putting together an archaeological toolkit circa 1927-1935 for a hands on demonstration I am preparing. Since I'll actually be using this stuff, I need tools that still look the same as they did in the Golden Age. I have the big stuff, like my transit, tripod, and stadia rod, and the more specialized equipment, like chaining pins, steel tape, plumb bob, etc.
 What follows is a long discussion thread on the Fedora Lounge forum.  It's filled with useful information, both from a historical and recreation perspective.  Surprisingly, putting together a basic classic era archeologists kit is relatively inexpensive.  Modern equivalents for many of the tools are nearly, if not exactly, identical to ones that were used in the 20s and 30s.

 Of course, not everything is quite so affordable.  Vintage surveying tools cost an arm and a leg, and if you really want to be authentic there are some things that require even more of an investment...


CoastConFan said...

That is a great selection of tools and you are right, the equipment of archeology of the 20s and 30s often used common items from a hardware store, but it is all in how they were used that makes the difference. Putting together a simple set of tools from existent items shows a lot of ingenuity. Sadly, Indiana Jones was not a sterling example of archeology.

As protoarcheology went from absolute amateurs focused on gathering and putting artifacts into collections, to the beginning of disciplined archeological methods, so too did the tools of the trade become standardized.and their use subtler. In time excavation and extraction became “gentler” the tools became more refined and involved with removing smaller amounts of dirt as the goal was to locate and record the item en situ as well as preserving the context for other disciplines to study. Although the physical tools themselves haven’t changed much in the past century, the way they are wielded and the intent behind them has evolved greatly. As nice as physical artifacts are it is the understanding of context and history that give meaning to items.

Michael Moscrip said...

My number one tool that I always had was my trowel. If you're an American acheologist, it pretty much has to be a Marshalltown brand trowel. The other thing is shoes that are smooth on the bottom. Tread or patterns in your tracks make the dirt harder to read.

Anonymous said...

Mojave Jack knows what it's all about!

marcaeoloG said...

Where's the string?