As we begin our descent into Old Main excavations, we have formed our research questions that we will follow during our field work. Our main question is what can the glass recovered tell us about the Old Main building and events that took place here. Characteristics like style, thickness, color and transparency can put us on the track to answering this question. We also have many sub questions that we will be working to determine. The first is to see if we can figure out where this glass came from within the building. We hypothesize that we will see more window glass than any other kind of glass. However, because this was an academic building, it would be very neat to see glass that maybe came from science equipment or adorning items like a flower vase. Another sub question we have is where the glass was manufactured. This could be very difficult to determine if we are finding only small pieces of glass. It is believed that some characteristics such as thickness, color and any irregular markings could give us clues as to who the manufacturer was. We would also like to dig below the Old Main site to reveal possible archaeological evidence of the farmstead that was previously on this plot of land. If we find any glass remnants at this level then it could further our analysis of glass use in midmichigan over a larger span of time. We’re ready to kick some glass!!!
Most of the remains found at Old Main were parts of the building, however some of the remains are evidence of the people who worked and studied in the building. Ceramics are one of the types of artifacts that remain from the people rather than the building. Most of the ceramics are in fragments or only a small sliver is what remains. This makes it difficult to determine what the fragment was a part of. There were a few that were big enough or had certain shapes that allowed for speculation as to what it was. There were some fragments from a cup, one that could have been from a vase or plate, a piece of a bowl, and one that might have been part of a porcelain figure. A few of the fragments had what looked like designs or lettering on them, which is quite interesting.
All of these ceramic fragments and pieces help to show what kinds of personal artifacts from the professors and students who worked and studied in the building before it burned down.