Made in America? Sourcing the Coarse Earthenwares of Chesapeake Plantations

Author(s): Lindsay Bloch

Year: 2015


Unlike many other goods at the time, which were wholly imported from Great Britain or elsewhere abroad, utilitarian coarse earthenwares were also produced locally within the colonies. In the Chesapeake, it has been suggested that these local wares were reserved for those unable to trade directly with England. This paper presents the results of elemental analysis via laser ablation ICP-MS in order to identify the sources of utilitarian earthenwares used by plantation households. Employing a reference set of kiln wasters from historic pottery sites across the Mid-Atlantic and Great Britain, vessels from plantation households of varying economic status were grouped by elemental composition. This analysis reveals which households relied upon local and regional products, imported wares, or a combination of both. Each household’s degree of participation within the market system, from neighborly bartering to trans-Atlantic commerce, is assessed, illuminating historic patterns in the access and consumption of these everyday goods.

Cite this Record

Made in America? Sourcing the Coarse Earthenwares of Chesapeake Plantations. Lindsay Bloch. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Seattle, Washington. 2015 ( tDAR id: 434076)

Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 507