Ceramics carried by Spanish ships from the 16th to the 18th centuries with specific reference to collections recovered from shipwrecks in the Caribbean basin, Britain and Bermuda
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This paper records and analyses the common ware pottery finds from Spanish shipwrecks dated from the 16th to the 18th centuries. A chronological presentation of olive jar-type botijas (olive jars), Columbia Plain, and other coarse earthenware types from accurately dated shipwreck assemblages has provided the basis for reliable typologies, and helped to refine previous studies. The shipwreck collections utilised consist of 17 accurately dated wrecks. First hand recording of pottery is included for 13 of the assemblages. The collections of the ceramics are housed in locations in Britain, the Caribbean, Florida, Texas, and the state of Louisiana. The collections are all from ships which were engaged in Spain's New World colonisation and trade, either en route to the Indies or returning. The exception is the material from the Spanish Armada which is included because of its official nature and the fact that outfitting occurred at Seville, the primary port for the Indies trade. In addition to the primary material, reference is made to pottery finds from contemporaneous shipwrecks which have previously been recorded, in addition to inclusions of historical research. Availability of the collections for further study is also discussed. Ceramics have a tendency to change over relatively short periods of time and using pottery finds as primary dating evidence has proved effective. Some of the most common Spanish ceramic traditions found on New World colonial terrestrial sites, however, have proved difficult to analyse because they are usually undecorated and exhibit relatively little development over the period in question. The finds from shipwrecks include several intact vessels spanning the period and recording of the finds has proved to reveal several distinguishing characteristics which have formed the basis for constructing new typologies of the most common wares encountered.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
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