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A button found during Niku IIIP (1996). Originally numbered "2-3-W-5."

Gillespie, AESF, 22 July 2000:

Archaeologist James Matthews of Fort Walton Beach, Florida has examined the artifact and submitted a preliminary written report which draws the following conclusions:

The specimen (2-3-W-5) is a medium sized button of composite material, probably bakelite, of simple design. Bakelite buttons were first produced in 1909 and are still common at the present time. This specimen is moderately weathered and pitted on both sides. The source of the weathering may have been due to exposure in a dune or beach environment at some time or due to natural decomposition. Am still trying to locate similar wind- and wave-worn small items for comparison. A portion of the specimen also has a dark stain that could be charring from limited exposure to flame or from organic origins. To date, I have not been able to identify the time period or manufacturer from the sources at hand; however, am gathering other sources and will check them.

Through the good offices of our Forensic Anthropologist, Dr. Kar Burns, we are corresponding with Dr. Everett Solomons, the toxicologist at the crime lab of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, who has been kind enough to take an interest in the case. Our hope is that the lab can shed more light on the stain. Dr. Solomon writes:

This is an intriguing problem. I am a toxicologist and will need to determine if some of my other forensic colleagues will take an interest in this. Our serologists would be required to assist in determining if the stains are human or animal -- possibly a very difficult task at this point.
My area and thought was to provide elemental analysis to compare to another button considered to be very similar in nature -- such a button for comparison probably does not exist.
At any rate I will study the problem and see if there is anything I/we can offer.