From the Delaware River’s Heart I Stab at Thee: STEAM and the Conservation of a Fragment from Revolutionary War Fortifications

By Philadelphia Science Festival (other events)

Tuesday, April 24 2018 7:00 PM 9:00 PM EDT

After 240+ years at the bottom of the Delaware River and ten years deep within The Independence Seaport Museum, the cheval-de-frise is presented for the first time to the public. From the Revolutionary War fortifications of the Delaware River and singular for “Chevaux-de-Frise” (coined by the French for 17th century Dutch battlefield defenses against Spanish cavalry), this eleven-foot, iron-tipped underwater wooden ‘spear’ was discovered near Fort Mifflin. Guests are invited to learn the story behind this incredible piece of history, meet the conservator, and hear how conservation science has contributed to its preservation. Joined by the Science History Institute and The Clay Studio, guests will engage in interactive demonstrations highlighting some of the scientific principles and practices used to understand agents of decay and to engineer conservation treatments.  Guests will have the opportunity to experiment with clay to learn how sitting for hundreds of years in the mud affected the fate of the artifact.