Each week,  Alexandra Martin, Archaeologist, choses an archaelogical artifact or group of archaeological artifacts to highlight that are not currently on exhibit. This helps showcase the museum's collection of more than 1 million archaeolgoical artifacts to visitors. Click here to read the Artifacts of the Week Archives! 

Transfer Printed Teacups
Working on puzzles while staying close to home? One of the steps in the archaeological process is to mend ceramics. Once artifacts have been cataloged, each fragment is numbered and ceramic vessels can be pieced back together with water-soluble glue.

Mending ceramics can help archaeologists see the shape and print on a vessel, and figure out how many pieces were actually in a set – it’s a lot like putting together a puzzle! To find out when and where these transfer-printed teacups were made, read this Dig Strawbery Banke blog post!

Marshall Pottery Redware Jar 

Has anyone else been feeling closer to their neighbors lately? It’s always interesting to see how the residents of the Puddle Dock neighborhood interacted with one another in the past. Here’s an example of an early 18th century redware storage vessel that was made at the Marshall Pottery and used by the Marshalls’ neighbors just across the street at the Sherburne House. This vessel was recovered during the 1980s archaeological excavations at Sherburne. For more examples of early ceramics recovered at Sherburne, click here

Cosmetic Spoon (c. 1700)

Have you seen supermarket shelves empty of household essentials like toilet paper, paper towels, or q-tips? The personal items of early English residents of the Puddle Dock neighborhood were often reusable items. This artifact is a cosmetic spoon, which could have been used for cosmetic powders or even scooping earwax! This cosmetic spoon was recovered during the 1980s archaeological excavations at the Sherburne House. To read more about early 18th century personal items recovered at Sherburne, click here

Glass Eye Wash Cup

Archaeological excavations at Strawbery Banke often reveal medicinal bottles, which can suggest which ailments and diseases Puddle Dock residents were treating. This is a unique example of a completely intact artifact: a turn-of-the-20th-century glass eye wash cup that was recovered during the 2016 Yeaton-Walsh House excavations. To see more medicinal glass bottles used and discarded by the residents of the Yeaton-Walsh House over time, click here. 

WWII military collar button

The Puddle Dock neighborhood banded together in the World War II effort, even on the home front. Perhaps you’ve visited the Pecunies’ Victory Garden, just one of many in NH in the 1940s; or visited the Abbott corner store and seen how the Abbotts’ supported rationing measures. This artifacts is a WWII military collar button recovered during the 2015 excavations at the Yeaton-Walsh house. To see the rare cookie-cutter design on the reverse, click here

Lamp from a 1941 Singer model 128-8 sewing machine

Sometimes we find somewhat recognizable elements of 20th century household electronics in our archaeological excavations. This artifact is a Singer Sewing Machine light from a model no. 128-8. To find out which Puddle Dock resident might have lit her sewing projects with this very lamp,
click here