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Northeast Historical Archaeology

Authors

Christina Hodge

Abstract

Ceramic possession in mid-18th-century Newport, Rhode Island is contextualized through an analysis of newspapers and probate lists, providing background for the interpretation of archaeological remains from a mid-18th-century house lot in Newport that is now part of the Wanton-Lyman-Hazard site. The interpretation of ceramic evidence is approached through notions of tediousness, taste, and distinction. The language of contemporary documents highlights differences in the perception of different ware types and forms over time; references to stoneware and creamware, for example, did not meet expectations. The relationship between levels of ceramic marking in texts and ceramics’ perceived social significance is not always linear. Further research may elucidate how Newporters used ceramics to create, maintain, and transform class-based (and other) identities

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