This week we go three-dimensional, with a nice shard of pottery found at the Stone House site:
When the OSH reconstruction began in the late 1960s, archaelogical excavations were conducted at and near the site to determine the historic building locations and usage patterns. Excavations of outhouses (or, if you prefer a more refined term, “privies”) usually provide the richest material, since the “bathroom” doubled as garbage site for broken household items.
Unfortunately, we haven’t yet had the opportunity to research the age of this particular piece, and, sadly, don’t have the resources to hire our own ceramics specialist on staff! The names of the states might give us some clue – pieces celebrating the Union were popular after the ratification of the Constitution, and after the end of Civil War. It’s unlikely this dates from the 1790s, and could be as late as the 20th century. If you know of a good research source for American ceramics, please leave a comment below!
At the Stone House we have an exhibit of various pieces of material culture excavated at the site. This piece of pottery is on display, along with silverware, nineteenth-century toys, liquor bottles, and even shoes, all excavated from our site. Beyond the basic novelty, these everyday objects can also tell historians a great deal about life in nineteenth-century Western Pennsylvania.