Tokens of Travel: Material Culture of Transoceanic Journeys in San Francisco
Author(s): Kari Lentz
During the second half of the nineteenth century thousands of travelers embarked on voyages aboard steamships headed for San Francisco that could last weeks or months. In the past decade, William Self Associates has conducted multiple excavations within the vicinity of the original coastline of Yerba Buena Cove that have yielded an abundance of artifacts. This paper focuses on dinnerware pieces employed for meals aboard vessels of the Pacific Mail Steamship Company that were recovered from domestic privies dating to the 1870s. The paper examines the function of tableware utilized during maritime expeditions as well their potential purpose once collected by disembarked crew members or passengers. This paper posits that these artifacts may have operated as keepsakes or mementos that reminded migrants of their time spent aboard a ship in a "world between worlds" (Maddocks 1982) that served as a liminal space "between origin and destination" (Wenzlhuemer and Offermann 2012).
SAA 2015 abstracts made available in tDAR courtesy of the Society for American Archaeology and Center for Digital Antiquity Collaborative Program to improve digital data in archaeology. If you are the author of this presentation you may upload your paper, poster, presentation, or associated data (up to 3 files/30MB) for free. Please visit http://www.tdar.org/SAA2015 for instructions and more information.
This Resource is Part of the Following Collections
- Society for American Archaeology 80th Annual Meeting, San Francisco, CA (2015) •
- Spanish to the Silicon: The Diversity of San Francisco Historical Archaeology
Cite this Record
Tokens of Travel: Material Culture of Transoceanic Journeys in San Francisco. Kari Lentz. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 396840)
min long: -125.464; min lat: 32.101 ; max long: -114.214; max lat: 42.033 ;