A Remarkable Collection 1670 - 1700
pen and ink sketch by NPS artist Sydney King
What Jamestown colonists pitched, archeologists prize. Because of their accumulation of centuries-old waste, wells, privies and ditches are prime excavation sites.
This ditch, excavated in the 1930s by National Park Service archeologist J. C. Harrington, yielded an amazing quantity and variety of artifacts, most dated to the last quarter of the seventeenth century.
In addition to an outstanding collection of North Devon sgraffitoware, Harrington’s team unearthed fragments of bone combs, wine bottle seals and over a thousand clay pipe pieces. Three of six lead window cames were dated 1669.
Perhaps the most impressive find from this vicinity was an entire earthenware baking oven. Shattered into over 200 fragments, this large piece was produced in the North Devon potteries between 1670 and 1700. Settlers probably used the oven outdoors; heated stones placed inside made it hot enough for baking. You can view this oven in the Historic Jamestowne Visitor Center Museum.
Did You Know?
In 1606, an English joint stock company was formed to establish settlements on the east coast of North America. This company included The Virginia Company of London (which founded Jamestown) and The Virginia Company of Plymouth (which established Popham, a short-lived settlement in Maine).