Samuel Fuller Homesite Report Series Volume 3 of 7 Ceramic Analysis
Craig S. Chartier Plymouth Archaeological Rediscovery Project (PARP) Visit us at www.plymoutharch.com Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org ABSTRACT Site examination testing was conducted at the Samuel Fuller Homesite prior to residential subdivision development in Kingston, Massachusetts. The site is one of three contemporaneously occupied homesites dating to the middle to late nineteenth century and situated within the proposed subdivision development area that were identified during and Intensive Survey of the area. The intensive survey was conducted in the undisturbed sections of the project area by MAP personnel under permit No. 2865 issued by the State Archaeologist. As a result of the survey, 153 test pits (142 test pits placed in six transects, seven judgmental test pits and four array test pits) were excavated, 1,018 artifacts (24 prehistoric and 995 historic) were recovered, and two prehistoric and six historic sites were identified. Three historic cellar holes associated with the Fuller brothers (Samuel, Smith and Daniel) were identified as being potentially eligible for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places and were recommended for siteexamination testing. Two of the cellar holes, those of Smith and Daniel, were determined to be located in areas that could be protected from further development and were thus preserved in situ. The cellar hole associated with the Samuel Fuller family, could not be avoided by the proposed development and was subjected to site-examination testing. Surface vegetation consists of developing hardwood scrub and forest with little underbrush. The Samuel Fuller Homesite is situated on a small rise over looking a historic road and in close proximity to present day cranberry bogs. The testing strategies employed for the site examination consisted of the excavation of a series of 50 cm square shovel excavated test pits placed in a grid pattern, followed by the excavation of three trenches (two in a cross-shaped pattern within the cellar hole and one across the width of a depression situated on the edge of the site boundary), and six one-meter-square excavation units. Excavation was carried out to a minimum of 50 cmbgs, well into the B2 subsoil. The site size, based on the presence of test pits with and without cultural material, was determined to be 25 meters east to west by 45 meters north to south. The western edge was defined by the cranberry bog road; the northern edge was defined by a low area of possible soil removal activities and sterile test pits, while the south and east boundaries were defined by two sterile test pits. The overall distribution of material appears to be in a roughly oval shape oriented north to south. 1
Prehistoric cultural material was recovered from several contexts, all believed to have come from one site with scattered material. The prehistoric site was determined to be a low density lithic scatter likely resulting from short term occupation, possibly during the Middle Archaic period. The location of the site was determined to roughly parallel that of the historic site with prehistoric materials occurring in a more random and scattered fashion. Historic cultural material consisted of an appreciable assemblage of ceramics, faunal remains and household architectural material. No outbuildings were identified. Site examination testing found that the site possessed definite boundaries, with a yard scatter, subsurface features, and overall good integrity in the sense that the site has not been disturbed by subsequent post-occupation activities, and a high research potential. The high research potential was due to the observed spatial patterning of subsurface artifacts and features across the site. The site was found to possess definite boundaries, good integrity in the sense that the site has not been disturbed by subsequent postoccupation activities, and high research potential. While it was difficult to attribute various deposits to time periods, there appears to be spatial patterning of subsurface artifacts and features across the site. Archaeological investigations identified deposits dating to the occupation of the site by the Fullers, as well as occupation of the site immediately after, possibly by Kingston’s famed hermit, Daniel Fuller. Extensive background research was conducted, principally focusing on census and tax records, in order to place the Fullers within a larger community context. It is felt that further investigations at the site have the potential to yield significant information regarding the lives of individuals living at a low economic level throughout much of the nineteenth century. The site was found to possess definite boundaries, good integrity in the sense that the site has not been disturbed by subsequent post-occupation activities, and high research potential. While it was difficult to attribute various deposits to time periods, there appears to be spatial patterning of subsurface artifacts and features across the site. Archaeological investigations identified deposits dating to the occupation of the site by the Fullers as well as occupation of the site immediately after, possibly by Kingston’s famed hermit, Daniel Fuller. The Trench 1 and North Yard Midden deposits are terminal deposits of materials cleaned out of the house following Samuel's death. As a result, they represent the artifacts that were present in the house at the time of his death, and that were determined by the cleaners to be worthless and disposable. It is unknown what material may have been removed from the site by those who were cleaning out the house. While the deposit in these contexts seems to show an occupation by someone who saved old bottles and ate off of old plates, it may be a case of these being the artifacts that were not wanted by those who cleaned out the house. In fact, they may have originally made up only a small portion of the actual material-culture assemblage. The Fullers may have had fine china and gold, but these materials could have been removed by the cleaners and thus did not present themselves archaeologically. However, by coupling the archaeological findings with extensive background research, it was determined that the Fullers were of a lower economic station and thus unlikely to own fine china. The disposal of their possessions in an associated pit and a yard midden, indicates that they may not have had much that was worth anything at the time of Samuel’s death and thus many of their possessions were subsequently disposed of on-site. Further excavations could help clarify this issue. As a result, the site is considered eligible for listing on the National Register and avoidance of the site is recommended.
Ceramics Ceramic analysis focused on functional and temporal analysis of the recovered wares. Functional analysis includes the identification of the types of vessels present as well as how the wares can be used as socio-economic indicators. Ceramics in general have the potential to yield information on market distribution systems, food processing, preparation, consumption and other aspects of foodways behavior. Ceramics were also used for status display and possibly ideological statements (Spencer-Wood 1984: 33). The ceramics recovered from nineteenth century sites are assumed to largely have been acquired from those that were available at the local market economy with some percentage possibly being acquired as gifts, heirlooms or through some form of secondary recycling. The ceramics that are recovered archaeologically are the result of consumer choices of goods available in the market and the loss and selective discard patterns of the past inhabitants of the site (Spencer-Wood 1984: 33, 34). The types and styles of ceramics used by a household are influenced by an indeterminate number of interrelated factors including site location, availability of goods, occupation, ethnicity, economic level, social status, family status, religious and political affiliation and individual preferences (Spencer-Wood 1984: 34). As a way of understanding the interrelationships between features and anomalies identified during the Site Examination, attempts were made to cross-mend sherds of vessels from various contexts across the site. Assemblages recovered from intact feature contexts were analyzed to determine a likely date of deposition for the material and to determine their probable function as part of the working household. It was hoped that enough feature contexts can be identified to examine the changing nature of the Samuel and Mary Fuller household overtime and to compare these changes to larger local, regional, and national trends. In general, extraneous material comforts such as decorative, although not necessarily expensive, pressed glass, floral painted versus undecorated ceramics and the presence of tea wares indicates an economic expenditure towards indulgence, something more than just the penultimate basic needs, versus subsistence or utility. One can easily do with wooden bowls and no tea, so the presence of items such as fashionable decorated ceramics and tea wares must indicate a desire for something more than the basic necessities of life by the inhabitants of a site. For example, in the 1840s handpainted pearlwares were nearly twice as expensive as undecorated pieces and transfer-printed wares were over twice as expensive (Miller 1991). By purchasing transfer-printed wares versus undecorated wares, the inhabitants (especially the women who were the primary purchasers of such goods) may have been trying to say something about their real or perceived status. The expenditure of household funds on items such as the latest in consumer goods is difficult to reconcile with a desire for self-sufficiency during the Victorian Age, it was not possible to aspire to be both selfsufficient and socially respectable. Method Analysis began with the identification of the ware (creamware, whiteware, pearlware, redware, etc.). Minimum vessel counts will be generated for each class and a functional analysis of the types of vessels (cups, bowls, saucers, etc.) were carried out. Additionally, the types of decorations (undecorated, hand-painting, transfer printing, etc.) present on the wares were examined and compared to determine if any matched sets are present or if the vessels present appear to be mismatched sets. The presence of matched sets over mis-matched pieces may help to better assess the socio-economic status of the Fuller household over time. Matched sets may indicate a desire by the inhabitants to own proper service sets and likely indicate that the individuals purchased the pieces specifically for the motif and with the desire to have a matched set. Mis-matched vessels may 3
indicate that the pieces were either purchased with no real desire for the order and propriety implied by matched sets, that the pieces were purchased piece meal over an extended period of time, which may have resulted in the inability to find matching pieces when the time came to purchase another piece. Alternately, mis-matched sets may be a sign that the pieces were donated to the family and were not purchased at all. This would be especially true if the pieces were found to show a time lag between the occupation of the site and the types of ceramics present (i.e. older ceramics donated to a poorer family from a middle class family after that style had gone out of fashion). There are three general classes that ceramics fall within, being distinguished by the amount of time that they have spent in the kiln. These are earthenwares, stonewares and porcelain with each being higher fired and thus more water-resistant. Earthenware and stoneware were recovered from the Site Examination testing. No porcelain was recovered, possibly reflecting the lower class status of the inhabitants of this site. Earthenwares can be characterized as being a ceramic class composed of glacial or alluvial clays that have been fired in a kiln at temperatures not exceeding 1200 degrees Celsius. Before the firing, the body may be, but was not always, covered with a powdered or later, a liquid lead oxide glaze. This glaze fused to the body and created a waterproof, glass-like surface. Different paste textures, decorative techniques, and glazes produced different types of earthenware identified by the distinctions: redware; tin-enameled; slipware; North Devon gravel-tempered and gravel-free wares, slipware, and refined earthenwares such as creamware, pearlware, whiteware and ironstone. Some of these varieties have distinct temporal ranges, while others continued in production virtually unchanged for centuries. Redware is the largest and most commonly occurring type of earthenware encountered on European Colonial sites. Redware Redware itself has not received a great deal of careful and scholarly work to tightly date it. Apart from Laura Watkins' paramount work and Sarah Turnbaugh's 1985 treatise on the subject, there has not been much follow up work done to continue the scholarship. As a result, while redware makes up the greatest percentage of the assemblages looked at, they can not be closely dated, and must be given limited weight to the amount they can contribute. Generally, redware was used for utilitarian items such as milkpans, storage pots, cup, mugs, chamber pots, and flowerpots. One notable local pottery, the Bradford Pottery, dating to the same period as the occupation of the Fuller site, was located within one mile of the project area and may have furnished some of the pots present at the site. Redware was recovered from across the project area with the highest occurrence in EU 4, the possible dump area to the immediate west of the house, followed by Trench 1 and the northern yard dump making up just 30.4% of the ceramic total (Table 1) (Figure 1). Table 1. Redware occurrences. Location Count EU1-3 Trench 1 EU 4 EU 5 EU 6 114 157 201 92 48
East yard West Yard South Yard North Yard Hearth West Room South terrace Cellar Hole Total % of Ceramic Total
33 24 10 23 42 5 20 32 798 30.4%
Minimally 27 redware vessels were identified. Vessel forms consisted of the typical types of utilitarian forms associated with redware: milkpan (N=4), storage pot (N=8), shallow pan (N=3), chamber pot (N=5), flowerpot (N=1), mug (N=1), and one possible pot, one possible pan and three vessels of unknown form. Pieces that appeared to have the same color glazes, the same body form and the same application of glazes were considered to be likely be from the same, or at least the same type of vessel. Fragments from the same or similar vessels were found across the site, possibly indicating a wide dispersal pattern of refuse or movement of refuse across the site following initial deposition. An example of this is vessel 104, a redware chamber pot with an exterior black glaze and interior red brown glaze, identical fragments of which appear in EUs 4 and 2 and in Trench 2, 0-1 meter east of the cellar hole east wall.
Figure 1. Redware vessels. Top Left: incised decoration, Top Right: Pans, Bottom Left: Storage pot, Bottom Right: Interior and exterior glazed.
Creamware While English folk and Colonial settlers were content to use redwares for their utilitarian needs, there was always a market for “white wares”, beginning with the importation of Oriental porcelain. But porcelain was expensive and the availability was limited, which lead to the development of tinglazed soft-bodied delft wares which copied the motifs and forms of the more expensive porcelains. By the middle eighteenth century, the English’s quest for a less expensive light-glazed ware similar to Chinese porcelain was brought one step closer by Josiah Wedgewood’s perfection of Creamware in 1762 (Noel Hume 1970:125). This ceramic type was not pure white, but had a light to deep yellow tint to the glaze and pooled green in the crevices of the vessels. Creamware was produced until 1820 and was generally replaced by a whiter “pearlware” that began production in the late 18th century. Early Creamware had a deep yellow tint which, by 1775, was refined to a lighter yellow by the use of kaolin clays in the manufacturing process. A total of 245 fragments of creamware were recovered from the Site Examination testing. All of the fragments are of a lighter color, indicating a later Creamware versus the older darker yellow wares. Creamware was recovered from across the site with the majority of it being recovered from EU5, the east yard and the cellar hole (Table 2) making up 9.3% of the ceramic total. Table 2. Creamware occurrences. Location Count EU1-3 Trench 1 EU 4 EU 5 EU 6 East yard West Yard South Yard North yard Hearth West Room South terrace Cellar Hole Total 9 2 15 52 23 59 6 3 4 4 9 4 55 245
% of Ceramic Total 9.3% The majority of the Creamware fragments were fairly small and as a result, only four vessels were identifiable. These included one plate with a scalloped edge, one plate with a molded feather edge, one possible plate and one bowl. Decoration on Creamware was limited to some molding, and hand painting and transfer printing to a much smaller degree. Miller and Hunter (1990) summarized Creamware edge treatments thus:
1750-1775 1766-1790 1766-1820 1765-1790
Molded Whieldonware Queen's ware Royal Pattern Feather edge
The molded edge on the Creamware plate recovered from the Samuel Fuller site was popular from 1765 to 1790 (Miller and Hunter 1990). Pearlware Pearlware is said to be the most common type of ceramic encountered on early 19th century sites (Noel Hume 1970:130). Whereas the glaze of creamware pooled green in the crevices of the foot ring on the bottoms of vessels, pearlware pooled blue due to the addition of cobalt to the glaze mixture (in an attempt to make whiter wares). Pearlware is also attributed to Josiah Wedgewood in the 1770s and went on to become the dominant ware in 1810, eventually fading with the refinement of whiteware after 1820. A terminal date for pearlware has been suggested as being as late as 1865 (Price 1979). Pearlware was used on a wide variety of forms from chamberpots to eggcups but it is most frequently encountered in the form of plates and saucers decorated with blue or green shell edging around their interior rims. Decoration on Pearlware also took the form of annular bands on the exterior of cups and mugs. These “annular wares” were produced from approximately 17951815 (Noel Hume 1970; 131). A total of 404 fragments of Pearlware were recovered, principally from Trench 1, EU 5, EU 4 and the east yard (Table 3) making up 15.4% of the ceramic total. Table 3. Pearlware occurrences. Location Count EU1-3 Trench 1 EU 4 EU 5 EU 6 East yard West Yard South Yard North yard Hearth West Room South terrace Cellar Hole Total % of Ceramic Total 16 125 50 62 5 41 18 9 16 7 13 32 10 404 15.4%
A minimum of 13 ceramic vessel forms were identified consisting of plates (N=5), saucers (N=4), tea bowls (N=2), one cup and one oval platter. While flatware predominated the pearlware assemblage, tea wares were common. Decorative techniques used on Pearlware, and eventually Whiteware, are more temporally sensitive than the wares themselves. Blue or green shell edge-decorated wares first appear in Wedgewood's 1775 and Leeds' 1783 pattern books and became one of the standard products of the Staffordshire potteries in the nineteenth century. This is believed to be due to the fact that they are the least expensive decorative table ware available (Miller and Hunter 1990). Initially both green and blue were used on the edges, but by 1840 green-edged had become rare with blue shell-edged remaining in production until the 1860s. By the later part of the nineteenth century the production of shelledged wares had discontinued but blue-edging, edging that was just blue but that lacked the earlier molded edging, continued until the 1890s. Miller and Hunter summarized the production of blue and green edging in 1990: 1780-1810 Rocco Style, irregular scalloped rim and undecorated center 1800-1840 Evenly scalloped Shell Edge 1820-1840 Embossed Edge 1840-1870 Unscalloped Shell Edge with impressed pattern 1850-1890 Unscalloped and unmolded Shell Edge Four Pearlware vessels from the Site Examination bore embossed rims, three in blue and one in green (Figure 2). The green edged vessel (recovered from the west yard at test pit N10 W05) would date to 1790-1840 while the remaining embossed plates would date from 1820-1840. The three blue-edged plates were recovered from EUs 1 and 5 and the south yard. Pearlware, and later whiteware, were also decorated by hand-painting. Two general types were used: thin-lined and broad-lined (Price 1979). Prior to 1835 polychrome hand-painted designs were executed in mustard yellow, mocha brown and burnt orange, but after 1835 brighter colors such as grass green, golden yellow, red and powder blue were used. The singular use of blue painted designs, intended to mimic porcelain designs, occurred on earthenware from 1775-1840 and was eventually replaced by transfer printing by 1815. After 1820 until approximately 1830, blue floral designs were executed with a bolder stroke and are easily distinguished from the earlier technique. Three blue hand-painted pearlware vessels, two tea bowls and one tea saucer were identified in the assemblage. Fragments of these vessels were recovered from EUs 4-6, the hearth and the west yard (Figure 3). Another hand-painting technique was Spatterware, which was used from 1780-1850, with 1810 to 1840 being the peak period of popularity (McConnell 1990) (Figure 3). Spatterware vessels have hand-painted or transfer-printed designs in the center with spatterwork borders. Spatterware eventually evolved into Spongeware in the 1830s when there was a need, due to the
Figure 2. Annular decoration and blue-edged plates.
Figure 3. Hand-painted wares.
popularity of the ware, to speed up production. Colors instead of being powdered on were now daubed on with a sponge, brush or a piece of cloth. Spongeware was manufactured until 1930. One spatterware cup and three saucers are represented in the assemblage from the Samuel Fuller Site. These were recovered from Trench 1, EUs 1 and 5, the east yard, the south yard and the terrace fill. Whiteware Pearlware was replaced in approximately 1820 by very white refined earthenware commonly called whiteware. Whiteware continues to be produced today. A total of 802 fragments of whiteware were recovered from all contexts (Table 4) with a wide variety of decorative techniques being employed on them (Table 21). Table 4. Whiteware occurrences. Context Count Trench 1 East Yard South Yard EU 4 North Yard Midden North yard Terrace Fill EU 5 Cellar Hole EU 6 West Room West Yard Hearth Total % of Ceramic Total 196 141 114 97 75 43 36 31 29 19 10 9 2 802 30.6%
Table 5. Decorative techniques employed on whiteware fragments.
Context Annular Blue-edged Hand18151830-1884 Painted 1860 1820-1890 1 5 4 25 1 1 2 1 14 6 1 1 1 Spatter- Transferware Printed 1830-1860 6 15 13 12 1 32 74 Undecorated Totals 1820-1900+ 52 78 13 17 122 50 75 97 31 19 194 133
NY Midden 1 EU 4 EU 5 EU 6 T1 East Yard
Annular Blue-edged Hand18151830-1884 Painted 1860 1820-1890 2
Spatter- Transferware Printed 1830-1860 4 1
Undecorated Totals 1820-1900+ 2 5 8 105 27 17 494 10 9 37 113 43 30 792
Hearth West Yard Terrace South Yard North Yard Cellar Total
West Room 1 2 3 2 2 1 10 26 1 17 3 34
29 6 16 8 211
As can be seen in Table 5, Trench 1, which is believed to be the latest context at the site, had the highest occurrence of whiteware while the hearth had the lowest. While undecorated fragments dominated the whiteware assemblage, it has to be remembered that while some of the undecorated fragments undoubtedly came from vessels that were completely undecorated, some of the fragments may be undecorated fragments of decorated vessels. The next most common decorative technique used was transfer-printing, followed by spongeware, blue-edging, hand-painting and finally annular decoration Plain, undecorated whiteware was produced throughout the century, starting after 1820 and was considered the cheapest version of this type of whiteware. Blue and black florals covering most of the decorated surface predominated on hand-painted whitewares in the first quarter of the nineteenth century (Figures 4 and 5). Slightly later, a finer sprig pattern in either monochromatic or polychromatic forms was produced until around 1890 with polychromes more popular, but less common, from 1830 to 1850 (Miller 1987). Blue edging, similar in execution and design to that used on pearlware, continued on whitewares most commonly with unscalloped unmolded or impressed rims, overall much simpler than the earlier pearlware versions.
Figure 4. Transfer-printed wares.
Figure 5. Blue transfer-printed vessels.
A total of 69 whiteware vessels were identified (Table 6). The assemblage was almost evenly split between flatwares and hollowwares, but while there were almost the same number of vessels, plates made up the largest overall portion of the vessel assemblage. It is interesting to note that among the undecorated whitewares, no matching cup and saucer sets were present and most of the undecorated wares were simple plates or cups. This was also the case with the blue-edged wares, which were all plates. Among the Annular and Hand-painted decorated whitewares, no plates were represented but cups, bowls and saucers predominated. Transfer-printed vessels, being the most popular for sale during most of the occupation of the site, also had the widest variety of wares present including more specialized forms such as tureens and one teapot. Table 6. Decorative techniques employed on whiteware vessel forms.
Form Plate Saucer Flatware Cup Chamber pot Pitcher Bowl Tureen Teapot Hollowware Totals 13 2 11 4 4 14 27 1 4 1 1 3 1 5 1 1 2 3 5 Undecorated Annular Blue-edged Hand-painted Transfer-printed 7 3 4 6 10 5 Totals 21 14 1 15 1 2 4 5 1 6 69
Table 7 shows the occurrence of fragments of identified vessels by context as opposed to occurrence by fragment count. Transfer-printed vessels were the most commonly occurring style across the site reflecting the wide spread popularity of transfer-printing as a decorative technique during the period of occupation for the site. Table 7. Vessel occurrences by context.
Context North Yard Midden EU 4 EU 5 EU 6 Trench 1 East Yard Hearth West Room West Yard Terrace South Yard 3 2 3 2 1 1 1 6 5 1 Annular Blue-edged Hand-Painted Molded Transfer-printed 1 3 1 3 2 1 1 2 1 1 1 2 2 1 6 2 4 1 7 8 4 4 Undecorated 4 1 2 1 2 2 1 1
Context North Yard Cellar Hole
Annular Blue-edged Hand-Painted Molded Transfer-printed 1 2 3 4 2
The majority of the vessels overall were decorated by means of transfer printing (Figure 4). This was the decorative technique that replaced hand-painting after the 1830s (Table 8). This technique was first used in 1797 with the first colors being blue, black and sepia and was followed by red, yellow in 1848 and then brown and green in 1852 (Miller 1965). The earliest patterns were Chinese until 1805 when the development of copper plate engraving allowed the creation of finer lines and more variation in color tone. After 1830 the quality of design and color intensity declined and multicolor underglazing was developed in 1848. Color is considered the most temporally sensitive property of this decorative technique. The following table (compiled by Stelle:2001) outlines the temporal changes in transfer printing in the nineteenth century (as described by Miller 1987, Esary 1982, Sonderman 1979, and McCorvie 1987): Table 8. Transfer-printing color date ranges and periods of maximum popularity.
Type Dark Blue Light Blue Blue and Painted Red Brown Green Black Purple Purple and Painted Gray and Painted Red and Green Scenic Flow Blue or Black Flowery Flow Date Range 1820-1860 1826-1831 1840-1860 1829-1850 1829-1850 1829-1850 1830-1850 1829-1860 1840-1860 1840-1860 1832-1838 1840-1860 1870-1879 1840-1849 1829-1839 1829-1839 1829-1839 1829-1839 Maximum Popularity 1820-1830 1827-1828
From the Samuel Fuller Homesite assemblage, a fairly wide range of colors was represented (Table 9). Table 9. Transfer-printed whiteware.
Color Black Brown Green Purple Blue Form Tureen Saucer Saucer Plate Plate Teapot Tureen Plate Cup Light Blue Dark Blue Willow Pattern Total Cup Saucer Plate Saucer Cup Saucer Count 1 1 2 1 1 1 4 6 3 1 1 2 1 1 1 27 Date range 1830-1850 1829-1850 1829-1850 1829-1850 1829-1860 1820-1860 1820-1860 1820-1860 1820-1860 1826-1831 1826-1831 1820-1860 1820-1860 1820-1860 1820-1860
The majority of the vessels were decorated with blue to dark blue transfer-printing with a few less common colors (such as mulberry and green) also present. Yellowware Yellowware is earthenware produced to replace the unfashionable redware, as a new kitchen utility ware. It has a hard, pale yellow body that is covered with a yellow or a clear glaze and often with blue, black or brown and white bands. It may also have a blue, green, or black dendritic mocha decoration,or a dark mottled brown glaze. The annular decoration with or without the mocha was produced from 1840-1900. The later form of decoration is commonly called Rockingham or Bennington-glaze. This type of yellowware has a thick brown, mottled glaze and a molded body and was most popular in America from 1840 to 1900. Rockingham was first produced by English potters in the Swinton District after 1788 with teapots being the most common form (Spargo 1926:170). By 1830, English potters had immigrated to American and began producing a larger variety of this type of ware. The center of production was Bennington, Vermont. From 1847 through 1865 the most common technique for applying the glaze was by spattering it on with a paddle, the result being that no two pieces appear the same. Clear-glazed yellowware was produced in many utilitarian forms including bowls, plates, jugs, and bottles. Yellowware was introduced to America from England in the latter 1820s and eventually was produced by various firms in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Vermont, New York, and Maryland from the 1840s to the 1850s (Leibowitz 1985). The maximum popularity of yellowware was in the period from 1860-1870. Even though its popularity waned by 1900, it was continually produced 18
into the 1930s. English-made yellowware has a yellow glaze, while American-made yellowware has a clear alkaline glaze. Four temporal trends have been identified for yellowwares (Leibowitz 1985): 1830 1840 1850-1870 1860-1900 plain no decoration, no foot formation, no lips, hand thrown annular banded and dendritic (mocha) decoration coarse, heavy yellowware predominantly in the Midwest, cream and buff color to rich canary yellow Pressed or molded yellowware, scenes and floral decoration
One hundred and twenty-seven fragments representing at least two yellow-glazed yellowware vessels were recovered from the site (Figures 6 and 7). One hundred and twenty-one fragments, representing at least four Rockingham glazed yellowware vessels were recovered (Table 10). Table 10. Yellowware and Rockingham occurrences. Context Yellowware Count Rockingham Count North Yard Midden Trench 1 EU 4 EU 6 East Yard West room Cellar Hole Totals % of Ceramic Total 7 109 3 2 8 2 3 127 4.8% 121 4.6% 2 15 104
Fragments of one yellowware bowl were recovered from Trench 1 while fragments of a blue and white banded mug were recovered from a variety of contexts including the east yard, the north yard midden, the west room and EUs 4 and 6. While none of these fragments cross-mend, the colors of the glazes and elements present appear to indicate that they all may have come from one vessel. Rockingham vessel forms were limited to three teapots, all smooth with no molded decoration, and one plate. The majority of the fragments representing one of the teapots and the plate were recovered from Trench 1 with the remaining vessel fragments being recovered from the north yard midden, EU 4 and EU 6. The north yard midden contained only fragments of one teapot, while fragments from what appeared to be the third teapot came from EUs 4 and 6.
Figure 6. Yellowware vessels.
Figure 7. Rockingham vessels.
The yellowware vessel from Trench 1 appears to be of the latest form with molded lines on the interior (1860-1900) while the mug with the annular decoration and the Rockingham vessels date to the 1840-1900 period. Ironstone Ironstone is a high-fired earthenware that approaches, but never quite reaches the hardness of stonewares. Ironstone was developed to compete with the whiteware market. With the final development of thin whiteware, the thicker ironstone was relegated to products such as plates, pitchers and bowls, chamber pots and other heavy utilitarian wares. Ironstone was first introduced by Charles Mason of Staffordshire, England in 1813 and was shipped to American markets by 1842. Ironstone was decorated in the same ways as Whiteware. Additionally it was often left plain or molded with leaves, ribs, or flowers. Plain wares were produced for the entire time span of Ironstone production, whereas molded ironstone with sharp angles, and hexagonal or octagonal body forms were popular from the 1840s through the 1880s. After 1860 embossed plant elements became popular and in the 1860s and 1870s, luster decorated “tea leaf” patterns were popular (Kovel 1973). Ironstone fragments, totaling 97 pieces, were recovered from the north yard midden, Trench 1, the east yard and the terrace fill (Table 11) (Figure 8). Table 11. Ironstone occurrences. Context Count North Yard Midden Trench 1 East Yard Terrace Fill Total % of Ceramic Total 59 14 12 12 97 3.7%
These 97 fragments represented a total of six vessels including one Flow Blue decorated plate, one Flow Blue decorated saucer, two undecorated plates, one plate with a molded decoration on the rim and one multi-faceted very white stoneware mug. One of the Flow Blue decorated plates was recovered from the cellar hole, saucer fragments were recovered from the south terrace fill and Trench 1, one undecorated and the one molded plate were recovered from the north yard midden, and one undecorated plate and the mug were recovered from Trench 1. The Flow Blue decorated flatwares date from the 1840-1879 period, as it was impossible to tell if the image on them was flowery or scenic, while the multi-sided mug dates from the 1840s through the 1880s and the molded plate dates to after 1860.
Figure 8. Molded vessels.
Stoneware Stoneware can be described as a ceramic type that is made of alluvial or glacial clays which is fired in a kiln at temperatures of 1200 to 1400 degrees Celsius. Firing the clays at these temperatures produces a dense, vitrified, waterproof body of a gray, brown or buff color. Vessels were often glazed by throwing handfuls of salt into the kiln at the peak of firing. This imparted a salt glaze, giving the exterior surface a waterproof glaze with an orange peel like texture. Stoneware products often took the form of heavy, utilitarian objects such as mugs, jugs, crocks, churns, pitchers, inkwells and oil lamps. Four general types of surface treatments can be present on stoneware: Unglazed/Plain, Salt-Glazed, Albany-Slipped and Bristol. Unglazed stoneware is considered relatively rare (Stelle 2001). Salt glazing was commonly used in all periods of production and was often used in combination with Albany Slip, with salt glazing generally being less popular after the 1860s (Zilmer 1987:35). Albany Slip is described as a hard, chocolate brown glaze produced by natural clays found in the Albany region of New York (Stelle 2001). Bristol glaze consists of a white to off-white hard and glossy glaze often used in combination with Albany slip on the exterior of “whiskey” jugs before 1920, but also was used on jars and crocks. It was common after 1890. A total of 29 fragment of stoneware were recovered representing four vessels. Fragments were recovered from the north yard midden, Trench 1, EU 5 and the east yard (Table 12). Table 12. Stoneware occurrences. Context Count North Yard Midden Trench 1 EU 4 EU 5 Total % of Ceramic Total 2 24 2 1 29 1.1%
Vessel forms were limited to three jugs, one bottle and one vessel of unknown form. The stoneware from EU 5 had an interior peach colored slip, predating the use of Albany slip possibly dating it to before 1840, while all of the other vessels had Albany slip, dating them from 1840 to 1900. Ceramics Summary Eight types of ceramics (Redware, Creamware, Pearlware, Whiteware, Ironstone, Yellowware, Rockingham, and Stoneware) bearing a wide range of decorative techniques were recovered from Site Examination testing. Table 13 shows the highest occurrences of each ceramic type. Table 13. Highest ceramic occurrences by context.
Context Redware Ironstone Yellowware 59 14 7 109 Rockingham Stoneware Pearlware Whiteware 15 104 2 24 125 196 Creamware
N.Yard Midden 114 Trench 1 157
EU 4 East yard EU 5 Cellar Hole South yard Terrace Totals
50 141 62 59 52 55 114
12 472 97 116 119 28 237 451 166
The north yard midden and Trench 1 yielded the highest occurrences of more recent ceramics, and surprisingly, the highest occurrences of redware. This may indicate a preference by the occupants for redware throughout the occupation of the site, a curation of these utility wares, or a tendency to purchase the least expensive wares for ceramic items that generally would not be seen (chamberpots, pots, pans) and were used for cooking, storage, or waste removal and not for service or presentation. The other context with a high occurrence of redware was EU 4 which is a refuse deposit believed to have resulted from the periodic cleaning of the kitchen and hearth. EU 4, Trench 1 and the north yard midden also were the locations which contained stoneware, possibly supporting the idea that all of these contexts derived from the kitchen area. The earliest ceramic type, creamware, was concentrated in the cellar hole, EU 5 (the south west corner of the terrace fill) and the east yard. This may indicate that refuse was deposited in the east yard during the earliest occupancy, but eventually shifted to the west and south yard areas. Ceramics appear to have been roughly separated temporally in different parts of the site. Handpainted wares, especially blue hand-painted wares, were located principally in the earlier deposits while transfer-printed wares occurred across the site. These appear to have been the most popular wares, mirroring their popularity generally throughout the century. Vessel forms were evenly split between hollowwares and flatwares (Table 14). There was a high occurrence of plates and saucers, cups, bowls, and surprisingly, tureens. It appears that the occupants placed a strong emphasis on service and presentation at meals and tea times. The presence of tureens may also be related to an emphasis on soups and stews, a method of food preparation that can be associated with people who are trying to stretch what they have in terms of food. A soup or a stew is essentially water with any number or variety of ingredients added. It is a versatile food that can serve as a main dish, an appetizer, or a side and one to which any principle ingredient or leftover could be added. The occupants of the Fuller site appear to have served soups or stews, but did so not in the utilitarian pot in which it was prepared, but in decorated tureens, possibly a step above the bare necessities necessary to prepare and serve such a food.
Table 14. Vessel occurrence by ware type.
Vessel Saucer Plate Milkpan Pan Tureen Tea Bowl Mug Bowl Cup Cup/ Bowl Bottle Jug Pitcher Teapot Pot Possible Pot Chamber Pot Unknown Flowerpot Holloware Totals Stoneware Yellowware/ Rockingham 1 4 3 5 2 1 1 1 1 6 16 8 Redware Whiteware 18 24 Pearlware 1 7 Totals 19 32 4 3 5 2 3 7 16 8 2 5 1 3 6 3 8 3 1 1 132
2 5 2 6 3 6 3 1 7 1 6 27 1 1
Also, while not many matched pieces were identified, pieces of the same color but different forms were common, possibly indicating a preference for color over pattern. Generally it appears that the occupants followed a pattern similar to that seen on other historic sites: redwares and stonewares for utility and food preparation vessels, an emphasis on tea wares and service vessels, and possibly a preference for soups or foods that would be served in tureens versus plated foods. Decorative choices were fairly pedestrian as well, blue-edged plates and transfer-printed wares in a variety of motifs.
Ceramic Assemblage Comparison The ceramic assemblage from the Edward Humphries Jr. Homestead (c 1776-1830) was compared with that recovered from four other sites in Plymouth County. These sites are the Ebenezer Wood Homestead (c. 1776-1825), which was excavated during the course of a Data Recovery testing in Middleborough, and the Samuel, Smith and Daniel Fuller homesites (c. 1830-1893) tested during an archaeological Intensive Survey in Kingston. The Lighthouse Village (late eighteenth to early twentieth century) was tested at the Intensive Survey and Site Examination levels. Wood was identified as a middling farmer while the Fullers were identified variously as farmers, laborers and shoe fitters. It should be remembered for comparison purposes that the Smith and Daniel Fuller and the Wood sites were only tested at an intensive survey level and the material recovered may not represent the entire range of materials that were in use at the sites. The minimum number of vessels for each ceramic class is shown in Table 15, while the vessel forms are shown in Table 16. Table 15. Vessel counts for the sites discussed in the text.
Ceramic type Humphries Wood Samuel Fuller Creamware Pearlware Whiteware White-saltglazed Stoneware Stoneware Yellowware Redware Ironstone Porcelain Slipware Tin-glazed Brownware Other Totals 1 1 0 1 5 8 3 1 1 7 9 0 Smith Fuller 1 1 8 0 Daniel Fuller 0 0 1 0 Young Thwing/Haynes/ Lighthouse Slade 0 19 44 0 4 45 92 0 32 41 257 0
0 0 6 0 0 0 0 0 0 9
1 0 8 0 1 1 1 0 0 29
3 2 11 1 0 0 0 0 0 34
1 0 7 0 0 0 0 0 0 18
0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 3
9 7 4 11 0 0 0 0 0 94
26 14 81 15 64 0 0 2 4 347
57 8 18 13 0 0 0 0 0 426
Table 16. Vessel forms for the sites discussed in the text.
Form Plate Small Plate Saucer Saucer/Bowl Humphries Wood Samuel Fuller 0 0 1 0 6 0 3 0 0 0 0 3 0 0 1 1 1 0 0 3 1 0 0 1 0 2 1 0 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 32 0 19 0 0 0 0 0 2 5 0 2 4 3 0 0 7 0 0 3 0 8 5 0 1 2 3 1 0 6 16 0 0 0 0 5 Smith Fuller 2 0 3 0 0 0 0 3 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 3 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 Daniel Fuller 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 Young 22 0 11 0 2 0 1 3 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 18 2 0 4 0 1 0 0 1 0 3 4 3 7 8 0 0 1 1 0 Thwing/Haynes/ Lighthouse Slade 65 6 25 2 7 2 2 0 14 1 0 1 1 2 1 0 43 5 1 6 1 4 0 9 8 9 2 11 0 1 13 3 3 0 0 9 120 0 74 0 0 0 0 51 0 0 0 0 11 0 0 0 73 0 0 2 0 0 35 2 8 8 8 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Platter/Serving 0 Dish Oval Platter Dish? Tea Cup 0 0 0
Tea Cup/Bowl 0 Tureen Pie Plate Flatware Milkpan Shallow Pan 0 0 1 1 0
Milkpan/Bowl 0 Butter pot Bowl Sauce Bowl/ Small Bowl Sugar Bowl Mug Mug/Cup Chamber Pot Jug Jar Pitcher Bottle Tea Pot Hollowware Small Pot Pot Cup Cup/Bowl Custard Cup Spittoon Shaker? Unknown 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Form Crock Basin Churn Flowerpot Lid Toy Tea Cup and Saucer Total
Humphries Wood Samuel Fuller 0 0 0 0 0 0 6 0 0 0 0 0 0 27 0 0 0 0 0 0 124
Smith Fuller 0 0 0 0 0 0 18
Daniel Fuller 0 0 0 0 0 0 3
Young 0 0 0 0 0 0 94
Thwing/Haynes/ Lighthouse Slade 3 2 1 70 6 3 342 0 0 0 0 0 0 392
Redware vessels forms were limited to undecorated utilitarian items. This reflects the utilitarian and inexpensive nature of this ceramic ware. The forms recovered from the sites were milkpans (Humphries, Wood, Samuel and Smith Fuller, Young sites), butter pots (Humphries, Wood and Samuel Fuller Sites), chamber pots (Wood, Samuel and Smith Fuller sites), small pots/pots (Young site) and a mug (Wood site). Creamware vessels were limited to plates (Wood site), bowls or hollowwares (Wood, Humphries, Samuel and Smith Fuller sites), and a tea cup (Wood site). Pearlware and whiteware represent the widest variety of vessel forms. Pearlware vessels were represented by plates and flatware, bowls and hollowware from the Wood, Young and Samuel Fuller sites, tea saucers from the Wood and Young sites, a mug from the Humphries and Young sites and tea cups from the Wood, Samuel and Smith Fuller sites. Whiteware vessels were identified at all except the Humphries site. Vessel forms represented were plates and flatware (Wood; Young; Samuel, Smith and Daniel Fuller sites), tea cups (Wood, Young, Samuel and Smith Fuller sites), saucers (Young and Smith Fuller sites), bowls and hollowware (Young and Smith Fuller sites) and cups, teapots, a shaker and platter (Young site). Other wares that were recovered included white-salt-glazed stoneware, porcelain, slipware, Rockingham, ironstone, and stoneware. White salt-glazed stoneware was limited in form to scratch blue decorated tea saucers. Fragments were recovered from the Wood and Humphries sites with one vessel being represented at each site. The earlier dates for the occupations at these sites resulted in the occurrence of this ceramic type which generally has been found to be recovered from sites with occupations dating to before 1776. Porcelain was also relatively rare, being recovered from only the Wood site with fragments of a hand-painted tea saucer being recovered. Fragments of a slipware possible pie plate were recovered from the Wood site and fragments of Rockingham tea pot and a bowl were found at the Samuel Fuller site. A fragment from an ironstone chamber pot was recovered from the Samuel Fuller site. Finally, stoneware vessel forms were limited to liquid storage vessels with a fragment of a jug being recovered from the Wood Site, and fragments from one bottle were recovered from the Samuel and Smith Fuller sites. Kenneth Feder in his work on the Lighthouse Site in Connecticut found that lower classes of society in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, especially poor African Americans, tended to use more serving bowls or hollowware and a lower proportion of flatware and dishes (Feder 1994: 182). Serving bowls were used to serve soups, stews and pottages while flatwares were 29
more often used to serve cuts of meat such as roasts in more formal settings. Stews and pottages are one way to stretch a family’s food budget while also providing a more communal dining experience (Feder 1994: 183). Essentially, sites with a greater disproportion between the hollowwares and flatwares may indicate a higher use of bowls over plates and thus a lower class, more communal foodways. Flatware serving and consumption vessels (plates, platters, saucers, and the generic flatware) were compared with hollowware serving vessels (cup, bowls, mugs, tureens, and the generic hollowware) (Table 17). Caution must be taken not to place too much emphasis on the assemblages from the Humphries, Daniel and Smith Fuller sites, as all of these were only investigated during intensive surveys. When these are removed from comparison, the Young, followed by the Thwing/Haynes/Slade sites yielded the highest occurrence of hollowwares while the Samuel Fuller and Lighthouse sites yielded the highest occurrence of flatwares. Table 17. Comparison of hollowware versus flatwares vessel counts. Site Hollowware Humphries 50% Wood 41.1% Samuel Fuller 39% Smith Fuller 61.5% Daniel Fuller 0 Sophronia Young 52.7% Thwing/Haynes/Slade 47.6% Lighthouse Village 39.9%
Flatware 50% 58.9% 60.9% 38.5% 100% 47.3% 52.4% 60.1%
Contrary to what Feder related in his work, when viewed in total, the Lighthouse Village vessel assemblage had more flatwares than hollowwares, which would indicate by Feder’s reasoning that they ate less communally than the Fullers or Sophronia Young’s household. The sites that are known to have been occupied by families, the Wood, Young, Samuel Fuller and Smith Fuller sites, and the Lighthouse Village, had the greatest number of plates represented in their assemblages (N=6, 22, 7, 2 and 120 respectively) which relates to the use of plates for serving and consumption. This is likely the result of the fact that Edward Humphries Jr. and Daniel Fuller were both bachelors, and thus would not have needed a large number of plates for serving multiple people. Tea cups and saucers were well represented at the Wood and Smith Fuller sites while the Samuel Fuller site yielded fragments of a tea pot. The Humphries and Samuel Fuller sites yielded fragments of one tea vessel each, possibly indicating less of an emphasis on this social and potentially ritualistic item. Alternately, the Fuller’s being so close in proximity and familial ties, may have shared teas, or, since Samuel Fuller died before Smith Fuller, Smith’s family may have inherited Samuel’s tea wares.
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