By: Becky O’Sullivan
Hey guys and gals. As you might know, last spring and summer we did a little fieldwork out at the Ybor City Museum State Park. And where there is fieldwork there is….lab work! I’ve been going through the artifacts we found during our survey (cleaning, sorting, and cataloging) and in the process I’ve run across a few items that might be of some interest. So, check them out below and give me your guesses on what these things might be! (That means you too, all you lurkers out there.)
Artifact 1 was found about 20-30 cm below the surface in Shovel Test 3, near some of the casitas within the State Park (remember, excavating on State property is against the law without the proper permitting and expertise!) This artifact is made of a plastic-like material and is just a fragment of what probably would have been a round item. On what would have been the inside are some metal pieces and wire, while the outside is decorated with an acorn and oak leaves. Any thoughts on what it might be? Click the link below to answer the poll question…
Artifact 2 was also found in Shovel Test 3 near the casitas, but was slightly higher at only 0-10 cm below the surface. This piece of clear glass is embossed with some words, not uncommon for historic bottles, but these words are in Spanish. We were in Ybor City after all… It reads “JARAB[E]…. PARA LA…..” but there are obviously some words missing. Put your High School Spanish lessons to work, what might this bottle have once contained?
This last item was also found at the top of Shovel Test 3, but it’s a bit of a mystery. Maybe you can help me figure it out? This artifact is made of cast metal, and it’s super heavy so probably lead. The metal is painted grey but I can also see some small areas where black paint was used to add details. It obviously broke off a larger item, but what might it have been?
Let me know your thoughts, and next week I’ll reveal the answers!
Artifact 1 is a bakelite electrical plug from the early 20th century, it was that acorn and oak leaf motif that gave it away. Thanks Google! Here’s a pic of a modern reproduction and here’s a pic of one of these plugs attached to a light fixture of the day.
Artifact 2 most likely came from a cough syrup bottle and would have read “JARABE DE LEONARDI PARA LA TOS CREOSOTADO LEONARDI’S COUGH SYRUP CREOSOTED TAMPA, FLA“. There was also an english version of this bottle, but it’s cool that we would find the spanish version in Ybor City!
Artifact 3 is a bit of a mystery, but my personal guess is that this might be from a cast metal toy. Maybe the leg of a horse? Can’t say for sure. We’ve found a few other toys during our excavations in Ybor, but that’s a subject for another blog!