The Chittenango Blacksmith Site


Archaeologists recovered nearly 6,000 artifacts during the survey and site examination investigations. In addition to these artifacts which were removed from the site for analysis and curation at Binghamton University, crews also counted, weighed, and discarded in the field materials related to blacksmithing including coal, charcoal, and slag. Brick is not typically curated by PAF, so these were measured and discarded, as well. Almost 60% of the artifacts in the analyzed assemblage could be directly related to blacksmithing activities, including fragment of stock metal (the base material used by smiths), tools, wagon parts, and horseshoe nails. Most of the other artifacts consisted of architectural debris like nails and window glass, with small percentages of smoking pipes, food-related artifacts (like ceramic dishes), and animal bones. The latter indicate that meals (probably lunch) were taken at the shop, the dishes and bottles may have been used for eating or could have been re-purposed as containers for flux, chemicals, or other materials related to the shop’s function.