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Written by: Elizabeth Moore
Thursday March 6, 2014

Dr. Elizabeth Moore, Curator of Archaeology, recently received a faunal assemblage for identification and analysis from Kerry Gonzalez, an archaeologist with Dovetail Cultural Resource Group. The assemblage is from the excavations at an 18th-19th century farmstead. One interesting specimen from this assemblage is a canid skull and Kerry asked us if we can tell if it is dog or wolf. The skull was recovered in many pieces so before we can attempt to tell if it is from a wolf or a larger dog we have to reconstruct it.  Ray Vodden, VMNH Research Technician, and an artist when it comes to reconstruction and reproduction of specimens, has found at least 10 places where the fragments fit together and can be joined.

Skull of an unidentified canid in the process of reconstruction

We use Acryloid B-72 as an adhesive when reconstructing specimens in the archaeology lab. It is a product that can be purchased as a solid, then mixed with acetone in the lab to the consistency desired. We make it thin (the consistency of nail polish) to use to seal labels on the specimens and we make it thicker to use as an adhesive to repair specimens. For more information about B-72 and other stable and safe materials to use when reconstructing, labeling, or storing artifacts, visit the website for the Society of Historical Archaeology’s page on processing archaeological material

Tags: Archaeology, Dr. Elizabeth Moore, Identification, Reconstruction, Research and Collections