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Volunteers Needed to Help ‘Clean Up’ The Past


The past few months were busy ones for the archaeologists at Drayton Hall. In the previous blog post, our director described the arrival of the “mystery watercolor,” which prompted new excavations to determine the appearance and configuration of the structures that originally connected the Drayton Hall main house to the north flanker building. During these excavations, we not only uncovered significant brick architectural features, but also over 40 bags of artifacts!

Now that we have thousands of artifacts to process, the Preservation Department is excited to introduce a new program called “Preservation Wednesdays.” Beginning this Wednesday, August 19th, we are inviting members of the Friends of Drayton Hall to work as volunteers alongside the Drayton Hall preservation staff. This could be your opportunity to help peel back the layers of time (not to mention centuries’ worth of accumulated dirt and grime) and see the past emerge– right in your very hands!

Encased in years of dirt, the details of this small artifacts are impossible to see.

Encased in years of dirt, the details of this small artifact are impossible to see.

The same artifact after washing.  Now very fine details of this ceramic rim sherd, dating from the early 1700s, can now be seen.
After washing, the fine details of this rim sherd, dating from the early 1700s, can now be seen.

 We are beginning the program with a focus on the recently excavated artifacts; the first step in the process is to wash all of the ceramic, glass, and metal artifacts. As we clean the artifacts, the details and history of the materials used at Drayton Hall really begin to shine through! This Wednesday, attendees of the April 2009 I Dig Drayton Hall program are joining the Preservation Staff to begin the program. If you are a Friend of Drayton Hall and are interested in participating in future Preservation Wednesdays, please contact Sarah Stroud by e-mail ( or by phone 843-769-2637. If you would like to become a Friend and participate, you can join on-line through our website.