Category Archives: A bit of History

Looking for historical information? Want to know the who, what, when, where, and why? You’ll find it all here.

What’s On Your Thanksgiving Table? Why Some Vessel Types No Longer Make the Cut

“Setting the table” in my busy home usually entails some plates, glasses, forks, and – if we’re lucky – paper napkins.  (In a pinch, paper towels do the job just fine.)  Holidays like Thanksgiving, however, call for a little more … Continue reading

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What’s Love Got To Do With It?

When it comes to archeology, what’s love got to do with it?   Well, everything really.  Archeologists aim to understand human behavior through the recovery and analysis of material culture.  Love is a basic and universal human behavior, but assigning such … Continue reading

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Sounds of the Season

Usually when we move boxes of archeological collections, we don’t want to hear any noise coming from inside the box. Sound usually means artifacts have been poorly packaged and are bumping into one another, or worse yet, some squeaky creature … Continue reading

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Absent but not Forgotten: Exploring the Mystery Behind Two Gravestones at Minute Man NHP

Archeologists appreciate old gravestones for many reasons, but especially because they can be a great source of information and often provide details that are missing from vital records.  But what we can learn is more than just what has been … Continue reading

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Gardening at the Narbonne House: A Redware Flowerpot from Salem Maritime National Historic Site

While rehousing the archeological collections from Salem Maritime National Historic Site, we in the NMSC archeology lab were privileged to work with a variety of reconstructed 18th- and 19th-century ceramic vessels.  One of these items was a redware flowerpot with … Continue reading

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Scratch-Blue at Petersburg: Redefining Creamware on American Archeological Sites

Hopefully you caught our last post, Are You Sure That’s Not White Salt-Glazed Stoneware?, in which we highlighted a few scratch-blue creamware sherds from Petersburg National Battlefield.  Despite our many years of experience working with archeological artifacts from all over … Continue reading

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Tea Trivia

Today is the anniversary of the Boston Tea Party (December 16, 1773). In honor of this famous (or infamous, depending on who you ask) event, here’s some tea trivia to brighten up your Friday: The earliest known English advertisement for … Continue reading

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Skulls, Cherubs, and Willows, Oh My! – Interpreting 17th, 18th, & 19th Century Gravestones

Halloween is the perfect time to visit a graveyard, and the older the better. We admire old gravestones for their artistic qualities and respect them as reminders of our own mortality. But did you know that gravestone fashions evolved over … Continue reading

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More Than Just A Witch City: A Look at Life in Salem, MA

The Narbonne House is a true treasure of Salem Maritime National Historic Site, but it is often overlooked by visitors. More modest than the Derby House, the Narbonne House, located on Essex Street in Salem, MA, was built in 1675.  Multiple … Continue reading

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The Prehistory of Minute Man National Historical Park

Minute Man National Historical Park is perhaps best known for its role in the American Revolution. Visitors to this park are greeted by colonial homes, the capture site of Paul Revere, and the site of the famous “shot heard round … Continue reading

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