Context: “Where it’s at!”

C.A.R.T. Archaeology

by Denice Dressel Lab Archaeologist & Preservation Specialist

A large storage vessel made by Piercy in Alexandria compared to a base of a similar vessel discovered at Colchester. A storage vessel of coarse red earthenware with a black glazed interior made by Alexandria’s Henry Piercy compared to a very similar base found at Old Colchester Park & Preserve.

As archaeologists, we derive meaning from context. Context describes where we find an object in relation to other objects on a site. Context can be found stratigraphically, in the soil horizons, or it can be found horizontally, across an archaeological site. Another context we consider is the relationship between sites, the larger geographical region and the rest of the world.

In that vein, we recently brought some pieces of ceramic to Alexandria Archaeology, one of Colchester’s closest neighboring towns, to talk with them about what we were finding.

We were specifically curious about pieces of red-bodied coarse earthenware with a cream slip and clear glaze, similar to ceramics described in Barbara…

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