Wednesday, October 24, 2012

You know how archaeologists are always saying that artifacts are not worth money, they're worth information?  This weeks challenge highlights one of our favorite artifact types: ceramics.  This semester I'm sitting in on Dr. Kathleen Deagan's Historic Artifact Analysis class at Flagler College to hone my ceramic skills.  The ceramics in this picture represent Medieval and Renaissance craft traditions from Europe plus the first European craft tradition found in the New World.  In class we are looking at paste and surface treatment, but try your hand at identification based on decoration alone.

Did I mention it's an open book test?  Check out the Florida Museum of Natural History's digital historic type collection.  All types and variants can be looked up for comparison. 

Usual Suspects (from Deagan 1987):

  1. Yayal Blue on White 1490-1625
  2. Santo Domingo Blue on White 1550-1630
  3. Santa Elena  Blue on White 1500-1600
  4. Fig Springs/San Juan Polychrome 1580-1650
  5. Ligurian Blue on White 1550-1600
  6. San Luis Blue on White 1580-1650
  7. Ichtucknee Blue on White 1600-1650
  8. Huejotzingo Blue on White 1700-1850
  9. Puebla Blue on White 1700-1850
  10. San Agustin Blue on White 1700-1730
Bonus question: if these were all found in the same pit, what would be the TPQ (or date after which the feature could date).

Responder with the most correct will get a copy of the Division of Historical Resources Spanish Colonial Heritage Trail publication and a Rite in the Rain field book!

Photo: Sarah Miller, FPAN staff taken at Flagler College library with materials on loan from Florida Museum of Natural History at University of Florida

Text: Sarah Miller, FPAN staff

References Cited
Deagan, Kathleen.  Artifacts of the Spanish Colonies of Florida and the Caribbean, 1500-1800.  Volume 2: Portable Personal Possessions.   Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 1987.

5 Responses so far.

  1. Josh W. says:

    B)Santo Domingo
    C)San Agustin
    H)San Luis
    I)Fig Springs/San Juan Polychrome
    J)Santa Elena

  2. Josh W. says:

    And the TPQ would be 1850

  3. Debby says:

    A san luis
    B san Juan
    C san augustin
    D yayal
    E ligurian
    F huejotzingo
    G itchetucknee
    H santo domingo
    I puebla

    TPQ would be 1850

  4. Answers-
    A San Luis Blue on White
    B Fig Springs/San Juan Polychrome
    C Puebla Blue on White
    D Yayal Blue on White
    E Ligurian Blue on White
    F Huejotzingo Blue on White
    G Ichtucknee Blue on White
    H San Agustin Blue on White
    2. I Santo Domingo Blue on White
    3. J Santa Elena Blue on White

    Josh had 5 and Debby has 7 (Debby, where's your J?). As I figure TPQ (date after which) I have a date of 1700. You were right to look to the latest dating ceramic, but can including the starting date of manufacture. (discuss...)

    The Puebla and San Luis is a tough call without seeing the surface treatment in person, but you can see the Puebla is a little whiter, litter brighter. And don't feel bad, I missed a San Agustin sherd on my last quiz too:)

    Send me your address at and we'll mail you both out the guide and write in the rain books.

    THANK YOU FOR PLAYING!!! It's only fun when others play:)

  5. Unknown says:

    How you doing I got a question I don’t know if this post is still active or not but I have some pieces my grandfather gave me it is numbered looks just like a lot of these in this picture I don’t even know where to start on where to get the information for underwear to see if somebody would be interested in buying it

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