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Lecture: Thumbscrews, Nails, and Coffin Handles

Lecture is $10, and includes a pre-event wine happy hour from 6 to 7. To reserve your spot and purchase tickets, please see here.

Objects found during archaeological excavations are generally the best way to date any given site. The same holds true for the excavation of graves and burial vaults where coffin hardware, the type of coffin and even everyday items like nails and straight pins can help narrow down the timeframe. Analyzed as part of the renovation of Congressional Cemetery’s burials vaults, these objects have shed light on the burial practices of Washington’s nineteenth-century elite.

Laurie Burgess, Associate Chair, Department of Anthropology, National Museum of Natural History, is an historical archaeologist whose research focuses on glass trade beads in the archaeological record and on historic period mortuary practices.