Published: May 2007
Robert Clark

What was your best experience during this assignment?

Bly Straube and the other Jamestown archivists were great. They showed me a lot of artifacts and allowed me to choose what I wanted to photograph. That kind of free rein is always good. It was pretty interesting to take photos of 400-year-old dice that were manufactured in England and imported to colonial Virginia. Photographing those was my favorite part of the assignment.

What was your worst experience during this assignment?

It took a while for photo editor Todd James and I to figure out how we should approach the photography. That left me with a fairly tight deadline of only six or seven days to shoot, turning the whole thing around in a couple of weeks. Still, it was nice to be able to make a clean, beautiful story.

What was the quirkiest experience during this assignment?

I took a photograph of musket balls and sharp little iron stars called caltrops. The English threw them on the ground as a way to defend themselves against the Powhatan Indians. It's pretty quirky to imagine them in action. Ouch! And they're still used today; U.S. troops in Iraq and Afghanistan distribute them on the streets as non-lethal riot and crowd-control weapons.