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Saint-Louis Forts and Châteaux
National Historic Site of Canada

Archeological Discoveries

Pierre Cloutier and Jacques Guimont – Archaeologists

Glossary

Abutment : A vertical wall or square pillar that supports the springing of an arch.

Artifact : An object which has been transformed, even minimally, by humans and is therefore distinguished from any object left in its natural state or changed by a natural phenomenon. Artifacts generally describe the items found during archeological digs.

Bar-shot : A projectile made with two half cannon balls connected by an iron bar.

Bit : On old keys, the square or rectangular jagged part at the bottom of the shaft which turns the lock bolt.

Cauldron : An earthenware receptacle for heating liquids over the hearth.

Chert : A fine-grained sedimentary rock rich in quartz. Its colour varies and it may appear opaque or slightly translucent. Chert was a preferred stone for making sharp tools, due to its strength.

Douzain : A coin worth 12 French deniers; 1/20 of a pound. In 16 th-century France, one douzain would buy a chicken.

Ecofact : A fragment from the animal or vegetable kingdom not having been intentionally modified by humans, in contrast to an artifact which is altered according to a specific goal. Examples of ecofacts are food remains (animal bones), plant roots, seeds, etc.

Excavation : A digging operation that exposes remains and traces.

Ice-pail : A bowl-shaped receptacle for the table, of varying dimensions depending on the era, which, filled with ice, served to rinse and cool wine glasses.

Joist : A piece of wood or metal framework that leans on the beams , ledger strips or walls of a building and is used to support the floor or the ceiling.

Larding needle : Long skewer used to insert fat into meat.

Lead glass : A glass made with a mixture that includes lead to increase its resistance to heat and expansion.

Ledger strip : A piece of wood placed on the ground to receive a floor joist.

Majolica : Italian faience from the Renaissance initially inspired by Hispano-Moresque ceramics. (The term also designates primitive European faience made in the Italian tradition.)

Osteology : The study of bones found in digs.

Rassade : A glass bead of little value once used to make necklaces, bracelets and for the fur trade with Amerindians.

Redoubt : A detached fortification structure.

Spur : Exterior corner buttressing, that is done in the middle of curtain walls, on river banks, etc., to reinforce a site.

Uwer : A large pitcher with a wide spout used to transport and provide water for the toilet, generally associated with a basin.

Verre fougère : Lightly blown and fragile glass, tinted slightly green, blue-green or straw yellow. The name referred to glass-works in the forested regions of Europe, which used fern ash in the composition of their raw materials. At a certain time in history, it was believed that wine tasted better when drunk from verre de fougère rather than from clear glasses.