Hello Everybody! My name is Kate Cota and I’m a Sociology/Anthropology major with a double minor in Classical Studies and Women’s Studies at Elmira College. I want to become a classical archaeologist. As part of the Strawbery Banke Museum Field School, I labeled and mended pieces of pearlware from the Penhallow House site (SB29), excavated in 2017. I chose this project because mending ceramics is an important part of all types of archaeology. I wanted to choose a project that would help both Strawbery Banke’s understanding of the past and my own interests in Classical Archaeology.
After labeling, I cross-mended the pearlware from different units. For example this family was separated across units and I brought them back together. What a nice family reunion!!
I found two predominant transfer ware patterns in my artifact collection. I mended three different sections of this blue transfer ware with a vine border. The ceramic piece to the right of the photo below is actually made up of 5 fragments that perfectly fit together.
When going through the rest of the labeled fragments, I found quite a few other pieces of this pattern which did not mend with the other pieces. The predominance of this print and the presence of several different rim shapes means that there may have been multiple vessels with this pattern on it.
Another blue transfer ware was also prevalent at the site. This pattern had a castle or mansion placed on its border. I was able to mend multiple fragments of the print.
Overall, I found fragments of five of the castles. This could mean that someone living at Penhallow had a set of this transferware. It could also mean that the pattern had multiple castles itself. I have not been able to match any of my artifact patterns to a known transfer ware, so it remains unknown if this is the case.
I also found and mended many other types of decorated pearlware. Both of these borders found below are painted. This is a very popular pearlware decoration. They painted the rim either blue or green and left the rest of the dish the natural off-white color of pearlware.
I also mended two pieces of a makers mark. If you look closely, you can see that the pearlware has either W.M.C.O. or W.M.O.O. stamped onto the ceramic.
Here are some other photos of ceramics that I mended this week.
Here are some more transfer wares:
Here are some hand painted pearlware:
This is a large piece of plain pearlware: