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Perishable Artifacts

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  • Perishable Artifacts

    These two artifacts are on display at the Robbins Museum of the Massachusetts Archaeological Society in Middleborough, Ma. The "Molotov cocktail" dates from King Philip's War(1675-76). The director explained how it worked, but unfortunately I have forgotten. Suffice to say it was designed to ignite a fire. I will post more artifacts from the Robbins now and then....

    The celt was found in the Elizabeth Islands, which is an island strand trending west from the elbow of Cape Cod. Found by a shellfisherman.

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  • #2
    That’s some nice stuff!!


    • #3
      That celt is amazing Charlie. Do you happen to know if the handle is a reproduction or authentic?

      I wish that you could remember the explanation of how the Molotov cocktail worked because it doesn't resemble any form of Molotov cocktail that I have seen.
      In life there are losers and finders. Which one are you?


      • CMD
        CMD commented
        Editing a comment
        Well no, of course it doesn't. Lol. Just using poetic license for heaven's sake. I'm sorry I did not pay closer attention. When we return to the Robbins, I will be sure to ask. It was designed to ignite on impact with the walls of a wooden structure and cause a fire. They were only using poetic license in the label!

    • #4
      I often wonder what we don't know of perishable artifacts.
      Searching the fields of Northwest Indiana and Southwestern Michigan


      • #5
        Technically, the Molotov Cocktail didn't exist before Molotov (think about it). It is certainly someone else's "cocktail", but not Molotov's. Just saying...
        Good stuff, Charlie!
        Child of the tides


        • CMD
          CMD commented
          Editing a comment
          I think it might have been a "King Philip Cocktail", or a "Pokanokett Fire Bomb". Lol. Actually, probably not a Pokanokett band at all, as I was reading today that Metacom had promised to never harm the Leonard family, whom he regarded highly.

      • #6
        Those r some very awesome finds , wish there was more info on them
        As for me and my house , we will serve the lord

        Everett Williams ,
        NW Arkansas


        • #7
          Interesting stuff Charlie. My first thought was expressed by Bruce about the wooden handle on the celt. We don't often see original wood with artifacts but it does happen.
          Pickett/Fentress County, Tn - Any day on this side of the grass is a good day. -Chuck-


          • #8
            Guys, the wooden handle on the celt is 100% ancient and authentic. This is why I titled the thread "perishable artifacts". Normally, wooden artifacts just don't last too long. One obvious exception is the desert southwest. In fact, if you looked at any of the "Anasazi Ruins of Cedar Mesa" videos I posted in a thread, one of the things those ruins,scattered through the 4 Corners region, are noted for is preservation of wooden ladders, rooftops, artifacts, etc.The arid climate allows for preservation. Even ancient corn cobs are found intact.

            But that kind of preservation is rare most everywhere else in the United States. That hafted celt was brought up, as you see it, by a quohogger, probably ensnared in his bullrake if I recall correctly. I am sure it has been treated to preserve it. Once recovered, it might not be in as good a condition that we see, had it not been coated with some manner of preservative.

            Of course, the "Molotov cocktail" is only from 1675, and was preserved because it was brought out of the elements in 1675...,
            Last edited by CMD; 02-07-2018, 08:53 PM.


            • #9
              Awesome artifacts there...
              The chase is better than the catch...


              • #10
                Thanks for sharing this Charlie those are some incredible perishable artifacts. The "Molotov Cocktail" is so cool and from such an amazing point in early American history.

                Perishable artifacts can be found here in my region as well. Lots of times they are preserved in deep caves and rockshelters environment. I watched my cousin find a cedar carved handle to something? in a Rock shelter were a small creek was running through washing out artifacts. It was basically submerged in muck but had been exposed just enough for him to catch a glimpse. I've also seen Native American textiles, moccasins, corn cobs, gourds, ladders in various exhibits that were saved due to the environment they were found in. Really amazing stuff! Thanks for sharing!
                Josh (Ky/Tn collector)


                • CMD
                  CMD commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Very cool, Josh! Years ago, there was an eBay seller who offered preserved sandals, from Utah I believe. They were cave finds. Yucca sandals, like the one seen at this link. Seldom complete, but some more so then others. I'm sorry I did not grab one while I could. No doubt of their authenticity at the time, but there's always a chance legality of where collected might have been an issue, as it has been years since I've seen any offered. But then, I have not looked in years, either:


              • #11
                Really nice of you to share this Charlie , I don’t get to go to museums like this here so the experience you gave me was
                exciting .


                • #12
                  I need to get over there to see this museum.. that’s incredible
                  I’d have a beer with the jacks reef people