The potters of Charlestown (Boston), MA, their wares, and their archaeological contributions

Author(s): Joseph M. Bagley

Year: 2016


A systematic re-processing of the ceramic assemblages recovered from the Charlestown neighborhood of Boston during the Central Artery/Tunnel Project (Big Dig) is revealing new insights and research avenues into this prominent 18th-century earthenware production center.  This paper will review the history of the dozens of potters participating in Charlestown’s potting industry in the 17th and 18th centuries and provide a preliminary typology and dating guide to Charlestown wares and decorations.  Discussion will focus on the Parker-Harris earthenware and stoneware site (1715-1775) including identification of Boston’s earliest attempts at stoneware production in the 18th century and the site’s ties to Philadelphia potters and ceramic production. Finally, this paper includes a discussion of the distribution of Charlestown earthenware and evidence for its presence on sites from Nova Scotia to South Carolina and the potential for identification of this important and datable ceramic across a broad region of North America’s eastern coast. 

Cite this Record

The potters of Charlestown (Boston), MA, their wares, and their archaeological contributions. Joseph M. Bagley. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Washington, D.C. 2016 ( tDAR id: 435035)


Temporal Keywords
18th Century

Spatial Coverage

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

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 444