DURHAM— Bird songs and the sounds of rushing water from the Eno River are what walkers usually hear on the Eno Trail, not far from historic downtown Hillsborough. But for five weeks in the spring, the scrape of shovels and cries of discovery blended into Mother Nature’s natural chorus. Students and professors from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Archaeology Department were excavating what is known as The Wall site.
Jennifer French has been the Object Conservator at the North Carolina Museum of History since 2010. Over her 13-year career, she has worked on two continents and with objects that span vast time scales. Before unfurling her tool kit in Raleigh, she worked to stabilize objects from the Bronze Age in Wiltshire England, to repairing feathers and reattaching beads on Native American objects for the Smithsonian, to securing the ephemeral messages and photos taped to the Last Column from the rubble of 9/11.