Posted by: signalhillarchaeology | August 3, 2009

Still more artifacts…

Well, we’re starting our last week of full-scale digging, and so we’re starting to finish up excavation units.  That being said, we’re still finding interesting artifacts, and so I thought it was time for another artifact update.

Our first cannonball...

Our first cannonball...

I don’t think I’ve ever seen Susan here so excited as when she found the first (and so far, only) cannonball from the barracks building.

It’s still in really good shape, with very little corrosion, and is still really heavy.

Shako chin-strap scale

Shako chin-strap scale

This is part of a chin strap from a type of military cap called a shako; the chin strap could take the form of a series of overlapping scales, one of which you see here.  Most of our shako chin strap scales take the D-shaped form you see here, though we’ve started to find some more circular ones in recent days.

A tobacco pipe stem, with a maker's mark stamped on the side...

A tobacco pipe stem, with a maker's mark stamped on the side...

Tobacco pipe fragments are a very common find on historic sites from the seventeenth century onwards.  In this case, we’re lucky enough to have found a pipe stem fragment that has the name of the manufacturer stamped on the side– you can see the letters “DOUGALL” .  This indicates that it’s a pipe manufactured by the McDougall pipemakers in Glasgow, Scotland.   McDougall pipes were produced in enormous number, and are common finds on historic sites of the nineteenth century.

A copper thimble

A copper thimble

And this last  find is a copper (or copper alloy) thimble… it’s in fair shape; though it’s corroded, it’s still recognizably a thimble.  Keeping clothes tailored would have been important, both for appearance’s’ sake and to keep out the inevitable winter cold.

So those are some of the more recent interesting finds we’ve made.  I’ll post a general update on the excavations tomorrow, and hopefully we’ll get a few more posts by the field school students as well (yes, everyone, that is a hint. Start writing some blog posts!!!)

Oh, and just as a post-script: we have been featured on local CBC news and in the Evening Telegram newspaper this evening– if you’ve found this site as a result, thanks for visiting!

—Amanda Crompton (Instructor)



  1. That’s a glorious picture of Susan…the wind in her hair, the big smile, the dirty shirt…a real archaeologist!

  2. Isn’t it great?!!?
    Look for a blog post tomorrow night from Susan 🙂

  3. About the McDougall pipe, if I remember correctly Mr McDougall moved to North America and so some of the pipes with his mark can be from New York or … shoot, memory failing… Montreal I think, sometimes the place is stamped on the opposite side of the stem.

    • Hey Teresa! Glad to see you’re following along with the blog. Yes, the place of manufacture is stamped on the opposite side of the stem, and it is Glasgow 🙂 Didn’t have a picture of it to post though.

  4. I think that’s the best picture of my mom I’ve ever seen.

  5. hello i found a part of a mcdougall pipe with an 01 on the base of the bowl and a thimble similar to your finds i also found lead weights from old fish nets. theres a 50-80ft wrecked old boat on the shore of the fraser river at maquabeak park in coquitlam bc

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