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The Anacostia Community Museum’s indoor gallery will be closed Sept. 18 through Oct. 31 as we bring our next exhibition to life. Even though our gallery is closed, join us at any of the dynamic upcoming events planned over the next 6 weeks. More information about our events is available at: We look forward to seeing you soon!

Metal Figurine Excavated in Anacostia

Object Details

After 1867
brass (alloy)
2 × 3 1/2 × 2 in. (5.1 × 8.9 × 5.1 cm)
In the early 1980s, archaeologists excavated land along Howard Road, SE before construction began on the Anacostia Metro Station in southeast Washington, D.C. Objects unearthed in the excavation revealed nearly 10,000 years of human settlement in the area. Their discoveries included a metal figure, possibly used for outdoor décor. Pegs under the elfin man’s shoes could be secured to a gate, for instance. His outstretched hands appear to wrap around an object, now absent. A potential indoor role for the bearded gnome could be to heft a holder for matches, cigars, pipes, or toothpicks, feet affixed to a base. The figurine likely dates to the neighborhood’s most prosperous period, 1880-1920.
Accession Number
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Anacostia Community Museum Collection
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Anacostia Community Museum
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