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Posts by Joanna Ostapkowicz

Black pitch, carved histories research project

7 March 2016 by Joanna Ostapkowicz

old photo of people digging along a high, steep bank of the lake

An early postcard showing the depths attained in digging pitch, and the manual labour involved. Even at these depths, the lake would refill to its original level within a day or two.

In 2015 I blogged from Trinidad and Tobago, where I was working on the AHRC-funded Pitch Lake project.

We are now entering the final phase of the project, and while work continues on various elements – from the last strontium analyses to the documentation of the replica commission – we’re taking this opportunity to launch the project web pages: Black pitch, carved histories: Prehistoric wood sculpture from Trinidad’s Pitch Lake.

The web pages document the aims, techniques and methodologies of the project, the artefacts studied and the wider context, Read more…



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