Wednesday, April 14, 2021

18C Allegory of Spring - Love & Bird Nests

1796 Spring Published by George Thompson London

This depiction of Spring shows a family on a river bank.  The man is holding a fishing rod and displying a fish caught on the line, while the woman opens a wicker basket full of others. The little girl stands holding a basket of flowers, while the little boy kneels in the foreground, feeding birds in a nest in his hat. Behind them a team is ploughing in the background to right.

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

18C Allegory of Spring - Love & Bird Nests

1785 Probably published in Britain. Here a young man is handing a birds' nest to a young woman. He has one hand on her shoulder as she accepts the nest.  She is collecting spring flowers in her apron. The couple is passing by another woman kneeling beside a basket of flowers and hold up a garland for the couple to see. Men are sowing grain in fields in the background to left.

Monday, April 12, 2021

17C Spring - Love & Bird Nests

1600 Spring from The Four Seasons Jan Saenredam (Dutch printmaker, c 1565-1607) Here a young couple pick flowers & delight over tiny chicks in a bird nest.

Sunday, April 11, 2021

17C Allegories & Myths of Spring around a Garden

1600 From The Four Seasons; Martius, Aprilis, Maius published by Joan Baptista Vrints. A Spring Landscape with a man playing the lute accompanied by woman holding flowers in her hand; a boat on the water collecting branches; with farming and gardening activities in background.

In Pagan Rome, Floralia, from April 27-May 3 was the festival of the Flower Goddess Flora & the flowering of Springtime. Roman Catholic traditions of adoring statues of Mary with garlands of flowers on May 1 have Roman Pagan roots. On May 1, offerings were made to Bona Dea (as Mother Earth), the Lares (household guardian spirits), & Maia (Goddess of Increase) from whom May gets its name. On May 1, early cultures followed a pastoral tradition of turning sheep, cows, other livestock out to pasture. In early Scandinavia, mock battles between Winter & Summer were enacted at this time.

Fire is a common accompaniment to many May celebrations. Celebrants mark the holiday by lighting fires, dancing, feasting & often performing fertility rites. Many built a bonfire & then moved through it or danced clockwise around it. Livestock was driven around a Beltane fire or between 2 fires for purification & fertility blessings. In ancient times Druid priests kindled it at sacred places. In later times, Christian priests kindled their spring fires in fields near the church after peforming a Christian church service. Branches & twigs often were carried around these fire 3 times, then hung over hearths to bless homes.  Risk-takers made a wish for good luck before jumping a bonfire or the flame of a candle. Beltane may refer to the “fires of Bel,” in honor of the Celtic sun god, Belenus. Some pagans believe fire has the power to cleanse, purify & increase fertility.

Some believed during May the veil between the human & supernatural worlds is at its thinnest, making them potent days for magic.

Saturday, April 10, 2021

17C Spring - Flowers, Fertility, Sensuality, & Delight by Martin Droeshout 1601-1639

Martin Droeshout (British printmaker, 1601-c 1639) Spring

In Pagan Rome, the celebration of Floralia, from April 27-May 3 was the festival of the Flower Goddess Flora & the flowering of Springtime.

Friday, April 9, 2021

17C Spring Boating Parties - Making Music & Gathering Newly Green Branches

1660 Published by Matthew Collings; After Crispijn de Passe the Elder; After Maarten de Vos. May; boat with two couples collecting green branches, drinking, and making music.   The branches of new leaves decorating the boat celebrate the regeneration of spring & fertility.

Thursday, April 8, 2021

Characteristics of Early and Middle Woodland Pottery from the Susquehanna and Delaware Valleys Origins

 

Origins


Archaeologists working in different parts of the world have found that major changes in ceramic technology occurred thousands of years ago and it appears that now the origin and early development of clay pots emerged in East Asia. In fact, the earliest pottery on record, radiocarbon dated around 18,000 – 20,000 years old, was found in two caves in China and excavations at other Asian and European habitation sites indicate that pottery making began much earlier than previously thought. Pottery was an independent invention in the New World and dates many thousands of years later. In fact, the earliest dates are from shell midden habitation sites that are 4000 years old along the coasts of northern South America and southeastern United States. More time passes before the concept is adopted by Middle Atlantic and North Eastern Native American cultures as fired clay vessels become the ideal alternative cooking method for prepare food. 

Steatite bowl (Loan from Dauphin County Historical Society)

The earliest portable cooking containers found in the Middle Atlantic region date to approximately 3600 years ago during the Transitional Period (circa 4300 – 2700 years ago). These bowls are carved from a soft stone known as steatite. In Pennsylvania, this rock is found in Lancaster County and Native Americans needed to travel to that region or obtain it through trade to acquire their bowls. Steatite is heavy and difficult to obtain so it is easy to understand the many advantages that clay pots had over stone bowls. The following presentation will review the morphological and technological characteristics of Early Woodland (circa 3200 – 1200 years ago) and Middle Woodland (circa 1800 – 1200 years ago) pottery in the Susquehanna and Delaware Valleys. 

Classification and Form

Researchers identify changes in ceramic technology through a classificatory system based on physical attributes. Form, temper, surface treatment, and decoration are among, but not limited to, the criteria used in typologically assigning categories to pottery. With few modifications the attribute system, has been and continues to be, the traditional format that researchers use to analyze prehistoric pottery from archaeological site contexts. Below are a few general trends in the evolution of Early and Middle Woodland pottery.

It is important to note that the various forms of Early and Middle Woodland pottery are markedly different from later pottery types of the Susquehanna and Delaware valleys. Vessel volume/capacity, vessel shape and the variations that are present in vessel decoration are hallmarks that distinguish different pottery types. For example, Early Woodland pots are generally less well made with coarse rock temper than Middle Woodland pots that appear well made with finer temper inclusions. In the Middle Atlantic regions of the lower Susquehanna and lower Delaware valleys, pottery forms begin as flat bottomed, straight sided pots (some with lugged handles) that are followed later by sub-conical and conical forms without handles. Middle Woodland pots often exhibit a decoration along the collar or rim over a smoothed or cordmarked surface.

Cordmarking is a surface treatment for pottery using a wooden paddle wrapped with twisted cord. This is done while the pot is still wet and roughens the surface making it easier to hold after firing. This technique is the principle form of marking pottery surfaces for the next 2000 years. Nets and twined fabrics wrapped around wooden paddles served the same function and appear during Middle Woodland times.  

Artist illustration of pottery making using a cord-wrapped paddle (First Pennsylvanians, 2015)


Construction Methods and Design

Building the pot required the potter to add temper, such as roasted and pulverized mussel shells or some type of granulated rock to the clay as a binding agent that prevented shrinkage and weakening, prior to and during, the firing process. The principal method of constructing Early and Middle Woodland pottery was to weld together stacked coils or fillets of tempered clay with a wooden paddle or stone palate. These tools were manipulated with the potter’s palm as each clay section was added and modeled into place.

Pot exteriors were roughened for better handling in later use. Nets, twisted cords, or rarely, textiles, were some of the materials used to create the roughed surface. One, or a combination of these materials, was applied to the surface of pots before firing. Early Woodland examples were rarely modified with designs beyond the application of cordmarkings on their interiors. Alternatively, the interior lip and rim areas of Middle Woodland pots were frequently decorated with a stamped decoration using a tooth or peg-shaped tool. Some of the Middle Woodland pots from the Delaware Valley are highly decorated with zones of line incising and elaborate punctations, often carefully executed in geometric patterns.

Firing

Once created, the pot was set aside for a period to air dry.  After sufficient time had passed rendering the pot stable, wood was stacked around the pot and ignited. As the pot’s temperature normalized with the heat of the fire, more fuel was added, eventually covering the entire pot and the firing brought to a higher temperature. If conditions did not remain stable during firing, or the pot had not sufficiently dried, the entire process generally failed.

Restored Pots of the Early and Middle Woodland Periods

Some examples of Early and Middle Woodland pottery in museum repositories.

Early Woodland vessel from Bare Island site(36LA0056)


Bare Island site (Susquehanna Valley, Early Woodland) – Large pot with Plain exterior. Steatite temper. Flat bottom with straight sidewalls. Plain rim. 

Early Woodland vessel, Oscar Leibhart site(36YO0009), Private Collection


Oscar Leibhart site (Susquehanna Valley, Early Woodland) - Large pot with cordmarked exterior. Crushed quartz temper. Conical form with unmodified rim.

Middle Woodland vessel from Muddy Run (36LA0103)


Muddy Run site (Lower Susquehanna Valley, Middle Woodland) – Large pot with netmarked exterior. Crushed shell temper. Conical form with cordmarked rim decoration. 

Middle Woodland vessel, Marysville site 


Marysville site (Susquehanna Valley, Middle Woodland) – Large pot with dentate stamped exterior.  Crushed igneous rock temper. Sub-globular form with slight neck constriction. Plain rim. 

Late Middle Woodland, Three Mile Island (36DA0050) Private Collection


Three Mile Island site (Susquehanna Valley, Late Middle Woodland)– Large pot with cordmarked exterior. Crushed angular rock temper. Sub-globular form with slight neck constriction. Plain rim.

Early Woodland vessel, Byram site (28HU39)


Byram site (Middle Delaware Valley, Early Woodland) – Large pot with plain exterior. Crushed rock temper. Flat bottom with exaggerated out-sloping sidewalls. Rectangular form. Plain rim.

  
Middle Woodland vessel, Abbott Farm, New Jersey

Abbott Farm site (Lower Delaware Valley, Middle Woodland) – Large pot with exterior fabric marking and zoned decorations. Crushed shell temper. Conical-shaped form. Plain rim. 

Middle Woodland vessel, Zimmermann site (36PI0014)


Zimmermann site (Upper Delaware Valley, Middle Woodland) – Large pot with exterior cordmarked/dentate stamped exterior. Crushed angular rock temper. Sub-conical form with dentate stamp rim decoration. Moderate neck constriction. 
Interestingly, Middle and especially Early Woodland pots are generally large compared to Late Woodland (1100 AD – 1550 AD) pots. This may reflect the size of the social group using the pot. During Late Woodland times, people were cooking for household groups. During Early and Middle Woodland times, cooking may have been conducted communally, involving several family groups. 

Although Early and Middle Woodland pottery varies in quality, shape, temper and surface treatment, the evolution of pottery types in the Susquehanna and Delaware Valleys seem to evolve in tandem suggesting potters, although experimenting with a variety of techniques, seem to be in communication with one-another. This is in contrast with Late Woodland times when distinctive styles emerge between the Delaware and Susquehanna Valleys. 

References

 Carr, Kurt W. and Roger W. Moeller
 2015         First Pennsylvanians, The Archaeology of Native Americans in  Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania Historical & Museum Commission.   Harrisburg.   
                                                                           
Cross, Dorothy
1941 The Archaeology of New Jersey. Volume 1. The Archaeological Society of New Jersey and the New Jersey State Museum. Trenton.
1956 The Archaeology of New Jersey. Volume 2. The Archaeological Society of New Jersey and the New Jersey State Museum. Trenton.


Hurley, William M.
1979 Prehistoric Cordage: Identification of Impressions on Pottery. Manuals on Archeology 3. Taraxacum Inc. Washington.

Kinsey, W. Fred 
1972 Archeology in the Upper Delaware Valley. Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. Harrisburg.

Ritchie, William A., and Richard S. MacNeish
1949 The Pre-Iroquoian Pottery of New York State. American Antiquity 15(2):97-124. Menasha.
Rye, Owen S.

1981 Pottery Technology: Principles and Reconstruction. Manuals on Archeology 4. Taraxacum Inc., Washington.
  

 March 30, 2021 - This Week in Pennsylvania Archaeology

For more information, visit PAarchaeology.state.pa.us or the Hall of Anthropology and Archaeology at The State Museum of Pennsylvania .

16C Spring Allegories - Birding & Tending Sheep

Sebastian Vrancx (Flemish artist, 1573-1647) Allegory of the Season Spring

Wednesday, April 7, 2021

17C Spring - Flowers, Fertility, Sensuality, & Delight.

1620 Lady as Spring, by Follower of Abraham Janssens, also called Abraham Janssens Van Nuyssen (Flemish, 1573-1632)

Spring brings flowers, fertility, sensuality, & delight.

Tuesday, April 6, 2021

17C Spring Wenceslaus Hollar (1607-1677)

Wenceslaus Hollar (European-born English artist, 1607-1677) Duchess of Lennox as Spring.Spring refers to the ecological, environmental season, and also to ideas of rebirth, rejuvenation, renewal, resurrection & regrowth.

Monday, April 5, 2021

Jesus as Gardener - Christ Reveals Himself to Mary

1368-70, Probably by Jacopo di Cione(c 1325-after 1390) an Italian painter in the Republic of Florence. - Resurrection Noli me tangere.   Jesus holds a hoe.

The Gospel of John 20:1-13 (NIV) contains a narrative of an empty garden tomb including the appearance of Jesus:
Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb & saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. So she came running to Simon Peter & the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, & said, "They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, & we don't know where they have put him!" 
So Peter & the other disciple started for the tomb. Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter & reached the tomb first. He bent over & looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in. Then Simon Peter, who was behind him, arrived & went into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, as well as the burial cloth that had been around Jesus' head. The cloth was folded up by itself, separate from the linen. Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw & believed. 
Then the disciples went back to their homes, but Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb & saw two angels in white, seated where Jesus' body had been, one at the head & the other at the foot. They asked her, "Woman, why are you crying?" "They have taken my Lord away," she said, "& I don't know where they have put him." At this, she turned around & saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus. He asked her, "Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?" Thinking he was the gardener, she said, "Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, & I will get him."  Jesus said to her, "Mary." She turned toward him & cried out, "Rabboni!" ("Teacher"). Jesus said, "Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, & say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, & your Father; & to my God, & your God." 
Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: "I have seen the Lord!" And she told them that he had said these things to her.
13C Fresco - in Lower Basilica in Assisi Noli Me Tangere

Giotto di Bondone (c. 1267 - 1337). Resurrection Noli me tangere - on North wall of Scrovegni (Arena) Chapel, Padua. 1305-1306
1460 The Meister des Göttinger Barfüßeraltars Resurrection Noli me tangere. Jesus holds a shovel. The wattle fenced flowery mead follows Boccaccio's model.
Fra Angelico, Noli Me Tangere 1440-42 Jesus and Mary Magdalene in a walled Garden
1460-90s Master of the Martyrdom of the Ten Thousand (German; 1460 - 1470; fl. c.) Christ appearing as a gardener to St Mary Magdalene within a garden with wattle fencing.Jesus holds a shovel.
1469 Noli me tangere in Prayer Book of Charles the Bold, Lieven van Lathem. J. Paul Getty Museum, Ms. 37, fol. 46v. Jesus holds a shovel in a wattle-fenced mead.
Martin Schongauer German, c. 1450-1491. Noli me tangere. Here Jesus holds a staff but the garden is surrounded by a wattle fence.
1473 Martin Schongauer (1450–1491) Noli Me Tangere. This garden appears to be enclosed with a wattle fence, and roses grow in the background. Birds perch in the trees.
c 1500 Perugino, Pietro di Cristoforo Vannucci 1445-1523) Resurrection Noli me tangere. Here Jesus holds a garden tool.
1506 Fra Bartolomeo (1472–1517) Noli Me Tangere. Depicted at the tomb with Christ holding a garden tool.
c 1500 by Master of the Chronique scandaleuse, illuminator (French, active about 1493 - 1510), Noli me tangere, French. Here Jesus & Mary Magdalene meet on a garden path.
1512 Titian (1490–1576) Noli Me Tangere. Christ appears holding a garden tool.
1500s Greek Icon Μη μου άπτου Crete Resurrection - Noli me tangere. Here Jesus & Mary Magdalene are in a flowery mead.
Alessandro Magnasco (Italian (Genoese), 1667 - 1749), Noli Me Tangere, Italian. Jesus with a hoe stands in a formal garden ground.
1526 Hans Holbein the Younger (1498–1543) Noli Me Tangere. Depicted at the tomb on a flowery mead.
1534 Antonio da Correggio (1489-1534) Noli Me Tangere. Christ appears as a gardener holding a hoe.

1539 Hans Baldung (c.1484 - 1545) Resurrection Noli me tangere.Jesus holds a garden shovel.
1548-53 Lambert Sustris (Dutch artist, c.1515-1520-c.1584) Noli Me Tangere
This image includes formal gardens used as the background for a Biblical scene. These gardens are primarily from the Italian Renaisance.  The trellis walkways & arbors were built to provide both shade & privacy. Planners raised beds to prevent plants becoming waterlogged. Gardens were used for recreation, relaxation, & sport. The garden consists of geometric beds of interlacing patterns designed to be seen from windows & hills above & is filled with herbs & favorite flowers. A fountain sits in the farthest parterre. Statues & symbolic ornaments are spread throughout the grounds.
1560-70 Unknown German artist. Christ appears here as a gardener to Mary Magdalene; part of a town beyond the garden & three crosses on the hill behind at left. Jesus holds a garden shovel in a bedded garden surrounded by a wooden fence.
Agnolo di Cosimo usually known as Bronzino or Agnolo Bronzino, Italian Mannerist painter, 1503-72) Resurrection, Noli Me Tangere Jesus holds a shovel, and a walled garden of flowers blooms just behind them.
1581 Lavinia Fontana Resurrection Noli me tangere. Jesus holds a shovel in a defined garden area.
1620 Abraham Janssens (1567–1632) painted figures & Jan Wildens (15841586–1653) painted the landscape Resurrection Noli me tangere.Jesus holds a shovel & the fruits of the garden are on the earth.
1630-35 Pedro Núñez del Valle (Spanish, 1597-1649)Noli me tangere. A garden of formal beds defined by a wattle wall appears to be growing food.
Ciro Ferri 1670-80s (1634-1689) Resurrection Noli me tangere. Jesus holds a shovel in a garden protected by a wood fence.

Sunday, April 4, 2021

The Angel said Fear not...He is Risen

Angel by Melozzo da Forli (Italian Renaissance artist, 1438-1494). Vatican Museums.

And the angel...said Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Matthew 28:5–6

Music-making Angel by Melozzo da Forli (Italian Renaissance artist, 1438-1494) from fresco paintings of the Basilica dei Santi Apostoli, the Vault of the Sacristy of Saint Mark. Vatican Museums.
Music-making Angel by Melozzo da Forli (Italian Renaissance artist, 1438-1494) from fresco paintings of the Basilica dei Santi Apostoli, the Vault of the Sacristy of Saint Mark. Vatican Museums.
Music-making Angel by Melozzo da Forli (Italian Renaissance artist, 1438-1494) from fresco paintings of the Basilica dei Santi Apostoli, the Vault of the Sacristy of Saint Mark. Vatican Museums.
Music-making Angel by Melozzo da Forli (Italian Renaissance artist, 1438-1494) from fresco paintings of the Basilica dei Santi Apostoli, the Vault of the Sacristy of Saint Mark. Vatican Museums.
Music-making Angel by Melozzo da Forli (Italian Renaissance artist, 1438-1494) from fresco paintings of the Basilica dei Santi Apostoli, the Vault of the Sacristy of Saint Mark. Vatican Museums.
Music-making Angel by Melozzo da Forli (Italian Renaissance artist, 1438-1494) from fresco paintings of the Basilica dei Santi Apostoli, the Vault of the Sacristy of Saint Mark. Vatican Museums.
Music-making Angel by Melozzo da Forli (Italian Renaissance artist, 1438-1494) from fresco paintings of the Basilica dei Santi Apostoli, the Vault of the Sacristy of Saint Mark. Vatican Museums.
Angel by Melozzo da Forli (Italian Renaissance artist, 1438-1494). Vatican Museums.