Using This Site

TPQDatabase was created by two Lab Technicians at Ferry Farm to make the cataloging process easier for future Ferry Farm Interns, and individuals who work in similar positions at other labs.  It is free to subscribe to and free to use.  Navigation instructions are located below. Before proceeding, please read TPQDatabase’s Disclaimer.

Please keep in mind that the artifacts on this webpage have been added because they have been found at Ferry Farm, George Washington’s Boyhood Home.  The inventory will grow over time as more items are excavated.  Ferry Farm has been occupied by individuals for thousands of years, but Ferry Farm’s main interest is to focus on the Washington occupation (1738-1772).  Thousands of artifacts have been excavated from Ferry Farm, and the archaeology at this site remains an on-going project.

A TPQ, or Terminus Post Quem (“limit after which”), is the artifact that is used to date an excavated context that is being cataloged.

An archaeologist excavates their site by measured units, which exist within a grid that they have created according to their project interests and site topography.  Each unit is excavated by layers, or contexts.  Artifacts are separated by contexts.  These artifacts are eventually sent to a lab for cleaning, analysis, cataloging, and storage.  The artifacts remain within their contexts throughout the process.  When cataloging, the Lab Technician must determine when the last known date of occupation took place for each context.  A TPQ is used to date each context.

An artifact is selected to become a TPQ because it is the artifact within a context that exhibits the most recent manufacture date out of all the artifacts present within a context.   The majority of Ferry Farm’s TPQ’s date to the 17th, 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries.  For the purposes of this site only the TPQ’s dating to the 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries will be posted.   This webpage does not include ALL of the TPQ’s discovered at Ferry Farm.  The artifacts whose manufacture dates proved to be more difficult to find are the TPQ’s that have been selected for this webpage.

To find a manufacture date for your artifact, you will first need to identify the material type.  The following material selections have been included on this website: Ceramic, Glass, Metal, Mineral, Stone, and Synthetic.

Date Your Artifact: There are several methods…

The artifacts listed on this website have been entered as individual posts in the following manner:

Subject Heading: Manufacture date: Object Name

Entry Body: The citation associate with where this information was obtained.  If there is important information the Technician thought necessary to mention to more easily identify this object, such information will be written as a separate paragraph within the entry in red font.

Method 1:

Step 1: Determine your material type from the “Material Selection” tab on the black menu bar at the top of this page.

Step 2: Browse the provided list, and explore the links that have been provided as citations.  Most of these links will take you to a page that includes an image of the artifact it describes.  Each artifact will appear based on when it was posted on this page, not in chronological order according to the manufacture date.  Some manufacture dates were discovered by contacting the manufacture companies directly, and there will be a different citation format provided.

Method 2:

Step 1: Find the Search Engine labeled “TPQ Search” on the right side of the page.

Step 2: Type in a keyword (or two) that describes your artifact.  This can be it’s material type, shape, identifying characteristic, lettering, color, or anything else that makes this artifact unique.  Sometimes while searching for manufacture dates, one will come across a description that says an artifact was manufactured in a certain century but the exact year is not mentioned.  If you know the general time frame in which your artifact was made you can also use this as a keyword.  Example: “early 20th century” or “20th century.”

Step 3: Browse the provided list, and explore the links that have been provided as citations.  Most of these links will take you to a page that includes an image of the artifact it describes.  Each artifact will appear based on when it was posted on this page, not in chronological order according to the manufacture date.  Some manufacture dates were discovered by contacting the manufacture companies directly, and there will be a different citation format provided.

Method 3:

Step 1: The Master TPQ List is located on the TPQDatabase homepage.

Step 2: Remember that the TPQ’s have been listed according to the date that they were added to this webpage and not by their manufacture date.  You can do a manual search using your keyboard by pressing the Ctrl key and F key at the same time. This will bring up a Find box on your browser.  The browser you are using will depend on where your Find box will be located. It could be at the top or bottom of your browser, or it could pop up as a separate window that will hover over your browser window.

Step 3: Type in a keyword (or two) that describes your artifact.  This ca

n be it’s material type, shape, identifying characteristic, lettering, color, or anything else that makes this artifact unique.  Sometimes while searching for manufacture dates, one will come across a description that says an artifact was manufactured in a certain century but the exact year is not mentioned.  If you know the general time frame in which your artifact was made you can also use this as a keyword.  Example: “early 20th century” or “20th century.”

Step 4: Browse the provided list, and explore the links that have been provided as citations.  Most of these links will take you to a page that includes an image of the artifact it describes.  Each artifact will appear based on when it was posted on this page, not in chronological order according to the manufacture date.  Some manufacture dates were discovered by contacting the manufacture companies directly, and there will be a different citation format provided.

Subscribe To TPQDatabase:

Step 1: Locate the “Email Subscription” button to the right of this page.

Step 2: Enter your email address in the textbox provided and click “Sign Me Up!”

Important Note: These emails will be automatically sent by WordPress when a new TPQ has been posted to the webpage, or existing entries have been modified.

Sharing Posts and Pages

Posts:

Step 1: Locate the TPQ post you would like to share.

Step 2: Click on the subject heading of the TPQ post, this will be the line of information that includes the manufacture date and the name of the object.

Step 3: Once you have achieve step 2, you will be directed to the post you have selected.  Under the post you will see an icon that says “Share.”

Step 4: Click “Share” and select the share method.  The webmasters of TPQDatabase may add additional share options that are not included in the figure below. All share options will be located under the “Share” button.

Pages:

Step 1: Locate the page you would like to share.  At the bottom of the screen, you should see a “Share” button.

Step 2: Click “Share” and select the share method.  The webmasters of TPQDatabase may add additional share options that are not included in the figure below. All share options will be located under the “Share” button.

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