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HomeArchaeologyThe 2022 Artifact Thriller Quiz – MSU Campus Archaeology Program

The 2022 Artifact Thriller Quiz – MSU Campus Archaeology Program

We knew it was a tough quiz when our director, Dr. Stacey Camp, requested us for the solutions. In fact, we couldn’t inform her what the artifacts have been–that’s the purpose of a quiz! 

This 12 months we have been again in individual for SciFest, certainly one of our favourite outreach occasions hosted right here on MSU’s campus. We have been thrilled to interact with our East Lansing group with hands-on actions. This 12 months the line-up of CAP initiatives included excavation bins, coloring pages, our recent and enjoyable Geocaching Tour, and … the 2022 Artifact Thriller Quiz! Like final 12 months’s Guess That Artifact, the quiz options supplies from our 2020 Service Highway undertaking and is designed to trick and train.

Don’t fear for those who missed the occasion, you possibly can nonetheless take the 2022 Thriller Artifact Quiz. In case you’ve already executed so and–like Dr. Camp–want some solutions, scroll all the way down to be taught extra. Try the ‘Individuals’s Alternative’ to see the most well-liked educated guess.

amber glass bottle with interior residue and black plastic cap

Right Reply: King’s Males Cologne

Individuals’s Alternative: Crown Royal Whiskey

Know Extra: We are able to actually perceive the place individuals have been coming from with this one, there are some similarities between this bottle form and Crown Royal Whiskey. One trace right here is the close to lack of a neck under the mouth of the bottle, a characteristic that’s typically used to make liquids pour extra simply, and is current on most liquor bottles (although the size of the neck on such is typically pretty minimal). On cologne bottles, which frequently characteristic slender closures referred to as “sprinkler prime” finishes–used to dab the liquid in small portions–a neck isn’t wanted.

The artifact was recognized as King’s Males cologne, a product manufactured by 42 Merchandise Ltd., due to a maker’s mark (“KINGS MEN/8”) on the bottom of the container. Whereas no agency finish date for this container form or product line was discovered, the ‘first-use’ date for the King’s Males trademark means that it was in manufacturing by 1941. Maybe predictably, promoting for King’s Males Cologne’s “virile scents” typically featured pictures that drew associations between the product and British the Aristocracy, and a refined masculine gentility extra broadly.

Text advertisement for King's Men cologne, reading "Inscribed in the stirring pages of British History are the King's Men- whose deeds and colorful tradition inspired Kings Men Toiletries. In their cool, virile scents, their lasting fragrance, Kings Men bring you the character of Saville Row and Bond Street, the spirit of the finest British imports. Handsomely presented in rich, lustrous flagons plate din gleaming 23-karat gold. Featured by fine men's shops and department stores."

small yellow jar with 'Topaze' engraved in the center of the lid with a small yellow gem inset

Right Reply: Avon ‘Topaze’ Fragranced Cream Sachet

Individuals’s Alternative: Neutrogena ‘Topaze’ Face Cream

Know Extra: This ‘cream sachet’ was a part of a wider set of perfume merchandise underneath the title ‘Topaze,’ manufactured by Avon Merchandise. In accordance with searches of newspaper adverts, the ‘Topaze’ perfume line was launched in 1959, and no definitive date was discovered for when this product was discontinued. The plastic gem embedded within the lid of the vessel was a tie-in to the product’s title and promoting marketing campaign, which proclaimed it to be the “jewel of a perfume”.

An image of the Topaze cream sachet container with the lid taken off and placed on its right. Inside the jar, there is a single hair pin oriented diagonally.
The Topaze creme sachet jar was recovered with a hairpin nonetheless sitting inside—maybe used to scrape the final bits from the container.

a tiny clear glass vial, about the size of the palm of a hand, with a red plastic stopper

Right Reply: Liquid Medication Injection Vial

Know Extra: Container type is useful in figuring out vessel operate. The brief, slender neck of the bottle–impractical for pouring liquids–signifies that the vessel’s contents would have probably been accessed in another manner. The skinny rubber cap, in contrast to screw-threading caps, permits needles to move by and entry the contents with out opening the container and risking contamination.

On this case, we have been additionally aided by partial and faint textual content printed on the bottle that helped us determine the container’s unique contents. The vial contained the hormone oxytocin, a naturally occurring mammalian hormone that helps to control quite a lot of psychological and physiological processes together with sociality, reminiscence, ache, intimacy, childbirth, and lactation (Leng & Leng 2021). In medical contexts oxytocin injections are primarily related to inducing and augmenting childbirth, treating postpartum bleeding, and inducing lactation.

These makes use of of oxytocin in childbirth have been recognized in some capability since Henry Dale experimented with extracts from the pituitary gland in 1906, but it surely took till 1955 for the hormone to be sequenced and synthesized–changing into the primary polypeptide hormone to be efficiently manufactured artificially (Magon & Kalra 2011). A marking on the bottom of the thing, “Neutraglas,” was current on glass containers produced by the Kimble Glass Firm –a laboratory and scientific glassware enterprise– between 1941 and 1956, giving us a preliminary date vary for the artifact (Harvard College n.d.).

Additional analysis into the producer indicated by the partial label of “Jen Sal” (brief for Jensen-Salsbury), a veterinary pharmaceutical firm, reveals that the injection vial was not produced to be used in human well being. This, mixed with the context of this artifact’s restoration, might point out that it was utilized in veterinary analysis and/or remedy at MSU.

a round-based clear-glass bottle with ribbed sides and no cap

Right Reply: Oil/Vinegar Vial

Know Extra: Sadly, we have no idea loads about this bottle, and our identification is primarily knowledgeable hypothesis. The bottle was manufactured by the Knox Glass Firm. The distinctive stylization of the container is supposed to simulate the fashion of Italian wine wicker-covered bottles typically referred to as demigiana (Ciappi n.d.), which frequently comprise wine or oil. A further context clue that we didn’t present within the picture is the ‘dripper insert’ –much like what you may discover on the prime of a scorching sauce or soy sauce bottle to manage the circulation of liquids– that’s inserted into the mouth of the bottle. This all appears to recommend that the bottle is probably going food-related and contained an ingredient for which controlling the circulation of the liquid contents was a useful characteristic. Mixed with the wicker demigiana-esque vessel type, and the culinary affiliation of Italy with Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar, we infer that the bottle probably held some type of oil or vinegar.

small rectangular bottle with light-colored powder lining the interior and a black plastic cap

Right Reply: Calamine Lotion in Pharmaceutical Bottle

Know Extra: A number of clues assist us decide the operate of this container. Contemplating vessel form in isolation, the comparatively small and rectangular type is basically according to bottles used for medical/pharmaceutical substances. Extra particular clues come from a number of embossed options, together with a pharmacist image that appears like ‘3iii,’ the place the character that appears like a ‘3’ is definitely “℥,” a now not often used image for ounces, and is adopted by three ‘i’s to characterize the variety of ounces the container holds. The edges of the container additionally characteristic volumetric gradations, a typical characteristic of pharmaceutical bottles used to simply measure doses. The bottom of the vessel incorporates the producer’s maker’s mark (“Brockway” in cursive) alongside the time period ‘Sani-Glas’ and a circled cross, emblems of the Brockway Glass firm used on pharmaceutical/medicinal containers. CAP fellow Rhian Dunn has dated the artifact between 1940 and 1964 based mostly on the simultaneous presence of the cursive “Brockway” and circled cross image, which archaeologist Invoice Lockhart suggests coexisted on the corporate’s pharmaceutical/medicinal bottles between these years (Lockhart et al. 2013).

The identification of the contents throughout the bottle is admittedly considerably speculative and is based totally on its hue. A attainable various is that the bottle contained bismuth subsalicylate / Pepto-Bismol.

two small irregularly shaped bottles one with a red rubber lid with a slit for glue

Right Reply: Glue Bottles

Individuals’s Alternative: Ink Bottles

Know Extra: These artifacts have been initially fairly complicated, and I’m undecided we’d have recognized them rapidly with out the enter of Campus Archaeologist, Jeff Burnett, who had used comparable containers in class as a re-usable container for glue. This appears to suit with the moderately uncommon rubber applicator connected to one of many bottles, which permits for the even utility of glue alongside a flat floor. As a result of propensity of American customers for single-use containers like your typical plastic Elmer’s glue bottle –and maybe partially the unlucky actuality that faculty provides are sometimes bought immediately by academics out of their very own pocket moderately than in bulk by underfunded faculty districts– different CAP fellows had by no means used a glass glue bottle. The bottle was manufactured by the Hazel-Atlas Glass Firm and has been dated between 1920 and 1964.

a round milk glass or opaque white glass container with a blue metal lid with the words "SHAMPOO WITH LANOLIN" written atop

Right Reply: Lustre Creme Shampoo with Lanolin

Know Extra: Whereas it might appear to be an uncommon kind of container for shampoo by modern requirements, the squat-glass shampoo jar manufactured from ‘milk-glass’ (a time period for opaque-white glass) was widespread for a lot of the twentieth century, and this container fashion was comparable many different beauty merchandise like cold-creams and balms. Such a container might not be sensible for the prevailing liquid formulations of shampoo most individuals use in the present day however made sense within the context of ‘cream-style’ shampoos which dominated the market within the early a long time of the twentieth century, competed alongside liquid shampoos within the post-war and mid-century, and declined by the Sixties and 70s.

The same and contemporaneous transition may be seen in deodorant types, which reworked from primarily cream-based formulations in squat milk-glass containers to elongated colorless glass and plastic containers with the rising recognition of liquid roll-on and solid-stick deodorants (Bennett 2022b). The broader assemblage of supplies from the Service Highway Landfill (~1958-1963) incorporates a combination of each cream-style and liquid shampoos, although liquid formulations are notably extra widespread. CAP fellow, Benjamin Akey, has elsewhere explored the chance that the combination of older and newer types of such merchandise on campus may characterize the rising age variety of campus residents within the post-war period, following the rising provision of household housing choices on the college.

Lustre-Creme shampoo was first produced by the Kay Daumit firm beginning in 1944, and bought by the Colgate-Palmolive-Peet firm in 1947 (Bennett 2022a). Whereas no agency finish date of distribution for the product has been discovered, it ceases to seem in newspaper commercials within the early Nineteen Seventies, giving us an approximate date vary of 1944-1973 for the artifact.

A clear-glass syringe with cracks down the outer glass

Right Reply: Glass Syringe

Know Extra: Figuring out this artifact got here down solely to its type–the interlocking items (‘plunger’ and ‘barrel’) have been a reasonably clear indication that this was a syringe. We have now rather less to clarify right here, as we couldn’t discover any diagnostic options on this artifact to assist us date or determine the producer of the merchandise.

a clear-glass salad dressing bottle with no lid

Right Reply: Wishbone Salad Dressing

Know Extra: Relying on which salad dressing you attain for on the grocery retailer, this one might have been one of many simpler questions on the quiz–Wishbone dressing continues to make use of this woven-diamond motif on the edges of their (now plastic) salad dressing bottles. Apart from that continuity, the vessel type does present some clues. We are able to assume it’s a liquid from the elongated type and neck of the vessel, which each assist to keep up a constant circulation whereas pouring. The lengthy, comparatively vast neck of the bottle is good for pouring viscous liquids, whereas an elongated slender neck may recommend a thinner liquid, similar to a beverage.

Embossed marks on the bottom of the bottle (3 [circled-B] 62) point out that it was produced by the Brockway Glass Firm in 1962. Whereas we don’t typically get agency one-year dates for artifacts, many glass container corporations, together with Brockway, employed two-digit date codes on sure sorts of bottles all through the 20 th century–rendering courting lots of the glass containers within the Service Highway assortment pretty easy. The embossed marks additionally embrace the patent quantity for the proprietary bottle, “Des. Pat. 169344”. You’ll be able to see the drawing included within the patent report right here.

Credit: Emily Milton designed the weblog, made the quiz, and photographed artifacts; Ben Akey carried out the analysis and wrote the artifact Know Mores; Jack Biggs fastened Emily’s images and made the pictures look good.


  • Leng, G, Leng, RI. 2021 “Oxytocin: A quotation community evaluation of 10 000 papers.” J Neuroendocrinol. 33:e13014.
  • Magon, N., & Kalra, S. 2011 “The orgasmic historical past of oxytocin: Love, lust, and labor.” Indian journal of endocrinology and metabolism, 15 Suppl 3(Suppl3), S156–S161.
  • Ciappi, Silvia n.d. “The wicker bottle: a protracted historical past from its origins to the seventeenth century”. On-line journal article.
  • Harvard College n.d. “Kimble Glass Firm 1901-1997”. Webpage. Harvard College’s Assortment of Historic Scientific Devices.
  • Lockhart, Invoice, Peter Shulz, Beau Schriever, Carol Serr, Invoice Lindsey 2013 “Brockway Bottle Machine Co. and Brockway Glass Co”. Hosted by the Society for Historic Archaeology.
  • Bennett, James 2022a “Colgate-Palmolive-Peet.” Webpage,
  • Bennett, James 2022b “Deodorants.” Webpage,


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