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Author Topic: Archaeological summary of Fiji Princess trip  (Read 31475 times)

Monty Fowler

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Archaeological summary of Fiji Princess trip
« on: July 10, 2015, 07:24:45 AM »

Dr. Tom King has put up a summary of the archaeological items gleaned from the Fiji Princess's Niku cruise. Some of the items make for quite interesting reading: http://ameliaearhartarchaeology.blogspot.com/.

I had to laugh at his "my boring lectures" comment. Tom is anything but boring.

LTM, who proved at field school that you really can screen gumbo mud for artifacts,
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« Last Edit: July 10, 2015, 10:14:44 AM by Monty Fowler »
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: Archaeological summary of Fiji Princess trip
« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2015, 10:32:22 AM »

I wonder what the waste management process was for the colonial village.  I know in the UK it was common to burn waste items including bottles and cans as a method of getting rid of waste.  OK it would make more sense to just throw it in the ocean but that may not be how a colonial officer would see the duty of waste disposal.

I asked Emily Sikuli about this when Roger and I interviewed her in 2003.  My question was whether there was a "garbage dump" on the island.  The question seemed to make no sense to her.  As I understood what she said, they did indeed just throw what they couldn't use or burn into the ocean.  But I don't have a recording or transcript of the conversation, and I remember well that I have remembered poorly, so you take this with as much salt as your doctor will allow in your diet.
LTM,

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Jim M Sivright

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Re: Archaeological summary of Fiji Princess trip
« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2015, 12:25:09 PM »

The presence of bottled makeup and pharmaceutical products from the pre-war? Era make some of TIGHARS artefacts more problematical to pass off as Earhart objects.

Chris,
I think I am going to take a close to opposite approach to your post. Maybe we have to think about how the freckle cream bottle got there in the first place instead of how it was disposed of. I realize everything has to be discussed and analyzed...no telling what one might find in a burn pile.
I think what I am getting at is "preponderance" or "circumstantial". I don't know just how civilized these native folks were in 1937, probably more than in Capt. Bligh's time, but to the point of using freckle cream? Were they that vane or did they even have mirrors to comb their hair? When you compare the odds of the freckle cream being the native's or Amelia's, who had freckles AND was very vane, I don't see that there is any contest.
 
Jim
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Archaeological summary of Fiji Princess trip
« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2015, 02:08:03 PM »

The people of the Gilbert Islands are fastidious about personal hygiene - far more so than Europeans. I can easily see how French perfume (presumably cheap perfume) and perfumed soap would be in demand.  Travel-size bottles of 1930s-vintage American hand lotion, liniment and freckle cream? Not so much.   But then my good friend Tom King has always been quick to embrace the negative while I tend to be equally and just as irrationally optimistic.  I'm sure we're about to learn more than we ever wanted to know about French perfume. 
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Jim M Sivright

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Re: Archaeological summary of Fiji Princess trip
« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2015, 05:53:37 PM »

Yes, Chris,
There are other cosmetic bottles or fragments, but who knows who they belonged to? If only one belonged to Amelia, then that means she was there. I was concentrating on the freckle jar because of the odds that it could be hers rather than the natives. The fact that there are other bottles found the island doesn't lessen the odds that the freckle jar was Amelia's.

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Jim M Sivright

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Re: Archaeological summary of Fiji Princess trip
« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2015, 10:56:48 AM »

Yes Chris,
The jury is still out on all this stuff, and I guess we'll just have to wait until they get back to find out. Everyone has their own opinions on all of this, and until the smoking gun is found, I am going to take the optimistic approach and believe that the "TRAVEL SIZE American made freckle cream, hand lotion, etc..." were Amelia's.
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Jim M Sivright

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Re: Archaeological summary of Fiji Princess trip
« Reply #6 on: July 11, 2015, 11:20:05 AM »

There is a train of though, unproven that Freckle cream was used as a basic sun screen in those days and as there were pale skinned Europeans on the island it makes sense that the store or Loran station 'could' have stocked this item.

Chris, Can I ask you where you got the info on the cream being used for sun screen? I am not doubting you, I would like to read it myself.

http://tighar.org/Projects/Earhart/Archives/Research/ResearchPapers/freckleintime/FreckleInTime.html

Initial comparative studies suggested that it might represent a container of Dr. Berry’s Freckle Ointment, a skin-lightening ointment that Amelia Earhart, who had freckles, might have used.

If the Europeans were light skinned, why would they want to lighten their skin even further?
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Matt Revington

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Re: Archaeological summary of Fiji Princess trip
« Reply #7 on: July 11, 2015, 06:06:19 PM »

The first commercial  sun screens were just becoming available in the 1930s and Would not have been widely available. Some cold or vanishing creams like ponds advertised themselves as sun protectors.  I, like many others looked at a lot of material on freckle cream a couple of years ago and I never saw them advertised as sun blocks. But that doesn't mean it wasn't done.

http://kitchenretro.blogspot.ca/2012/07/life-before-sunscreen.html

http://www.chemheritage.org/discover/online-resources/thanks-to-chemistry/ttc-health-suntan_lotion.aspx

« Last Edit: July 11, 2015, 06:12:02 PM by Matt Revington »
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Archaeological summary of Fiji Princess trip
« Reply #8 on: July 11, 2015, 06:24:45 PM »

There is a train of though(t), unproven that Freckle cream was used as a basic sun screen in those days and as there were pale skinned Europeans on the island it makes sense that the store or Loran station 'could' have stocked this item.

What is a train of unproven thought? 
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Matt Revington

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Re: Archaeological summary of Fiji Princess trip
« Reply #9 on: July 11, 2015, 06:40:09 PM »

This link also mentions that a crude veternary petroleum gel sun block was supplied to service people in the Pacific theatre of WWII so it's unlikely that alternative cosmetic sun blocks would have been stocked at the Coast guard loran station.

http://www.chemheritage.org/discover/online-resources/thanks-to-chemistry/ttc-health-suntan_lotion.aspx


Here a couple of tins of it
http://www.ebay.com/itm/2-Small-Cans-of-Original-WW2-USGI-Sunburn-Prevention-Creme-North-Africa-Pacific-/321771114130?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4aeb0d8e92
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Archaeological summary of Fiji Princess trip
« Reply #10 on: July 11, 2015, 06:49:20 PM »

It is also not true that were Europeans routinely living on the island and shopping at the Co-Op store.  Throughout the entire colonial period (1939 to 1963) Gallagher was the island's only resident European and the inventory of his personal effects includes no products resembling anything found at the Seven Site. Paul Laxton and his wife lived on the island for a couple months in 1949.  Other than that, and the mysterious "American woman" mentioned by Laxton, the island diaries mention only the occasional visit by the District Officer.
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Monty Fowler

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Re: Archaeological summary of Fiji Princess trip
« Reply #11 on: July 12, 2015, 12:19:36 PM »

I'm a little concerned that a number of things (new graves, an apparent warehouse) are only now coming to light despite numerous sweeps through the same general area in the past by TIGHAR.

I guess it validates the truism that "Nothing is found until it wants to be found."

LTM,
Monty Fowler, TIGHAR No. 2189 CE
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Jim M Sivright

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Re: Archaeological summary of Fiji Princess trip
« Reply #12 on: July 12, 2015, 03:47:52 PM »

Jim,

I think I was mixing up a discussion I saw that suggested that AE could have used Freckle Cream as a basic sun screen and this (and other articles) about sunscreen during the war. https://news.google.com/newspapers?id=Uw5BAAAAIBAJ&sjid=KqgMAAAAIBAJ&pg=4033,3888321&dq=serving+in+pacific+ask+for+sun+lotions&hl=en

Chris, there is a lot of info here and it is easy to get mixed up sometimes.
Just to sum up what we were debating about, if one uses some common sense deductions, odds are there is no reason whatsoever for that freckle jar to be on that island.

cept. one
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Jennifer Hubbard

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Re: Archaeological summary of Fiji Princess trip
« Reply #13 on: July 12, 2015, 05:58:48 PM »

well in some quarters there is a debate as to whether it is a freckle cream jar or some other jar. 

Yes, to be exact, the artifact was not conclusively identified as a freckle-cream jar, but as being strongly consistent with a freckle-cream jar.

For anyone who cares to look further, the evidence (pro and con), and possible connections to AE, are summarized and discussed in this thread, which includes a link to the report on the jar: New Artifact Report: A Freckle in Time





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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Archaeological summary of Fiji Princess trip
« Reply #14 on: July 12, 2015, 07:20:11 PM »

well in some quarters there is a debate as to whether it is a freckle cream jar or some other jar.  Jury's out unless you imbibe of the cool aid.

You're on thin ice Chris.  What "cool aid" are you referring to?
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