Collections > Electronic Theses and Dissertations > An Archaeological Study of Common Coarse Earthenware in the Eighteenth-Century Chesapeake

As some of the most frequently recovered historic artifacts on domestic sites, common coarse earthenwares have great promise as an interpretive tool. However, archaeological common coarse earthenwares are not easily attributed to a particular potter or period. The earthenware potters operating in North America, England, and elsewhere in Europe largely shared manufacturing methods, vessel forms and decoration. For over two hundred years, the process of producing common coarse earthenware went largely unchanged. Through comparative analysis of domestic site assemblages across the Chesapeake, I demonstrate that common coarse earthenwares are not homogenous, instead exhibiting both temporal and spatial patterning. Over time, the proportion of coarse earthenware in ceramic assemblages decreased, and glazing patterns changed. Certain attributes of common coarse earthenware are more common at some sites than others, indicating differential availability or functional requirements among sites and sub-regions of the Chesapeake, and are perhaps evidence of discrete production origins.