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daughters weren’t born until the 1830s. Perhaps Rosina received this gift after the family arrived in New Orleans. Other Ceramics Besides dinnerware and tea sets, fragments of a few other kinds of vessels were also found in Feature 14. Bowls, both hand painted and slipware, were found in bright colors and designs. A small bowl was hand painted in a floral design of a maroon-colored mum with accents in blue and green leaves (Fig. 4.10). Parts of one or two large bowls painted in a broad floral pattern in blue were also found. A variety of styles of slipware bowls were discovered, both in Feature 14 and elsewhere around the house. Slipware is decorated with bands, dots, and swirls made of watered-down colored clays. A bowl fragment in the mocha pattern, which looks like a branching tree, and also one in common cable, which looks like an undulating worm, were found. Slipware was available throughout the nineteenth century. These brightly painted and decorated bowls might have been used for informal family meals, such as to serve breakfast porridge or stew to the children. The larger bowls may have been used as serving pieces. If the slaves’ meals consisted of soups or stews instead of individual portions, they may also have used these brightly colored bowls. Hand-painted and slipware bowls were less expensive than transfer-printed ceramics. A large rim sherd from a brown floral transferprinted bowl, found in Feature 14, might be part of a wash basin. Without indoor bathrooms, bedrooms were usually equipped with a ceramic wash basin and a large pitcher, called a ewer, to hold wash water. A large handle from another vessel might also be part of a bedroom set. The handle was molded and plain white, but attached to a small fragment of a purple transfer print that would have been seen on the inside of a large vessel, probably a ewer or chamber pot. Other Artifacts from Feature 14 Although I have concentrated on the ceramics and food remains from Feature 14 because they provide the best clues to the Blocks’ lifestyle, other artifacts THE ARCHEOLOGY OF PIONEER WASHINGTON ■ 61 Fig. 4.9: Rosina Block probably had tea parties with her friends and their dolls, using this small teapot with the swag design; fragments of a matching cup and saucer suggest that she had a complete set. One of the Block children likely drank milk or cocoa from the pink lustre mug decorated with the image of a cottage. Photo by Leslie Walker, Arkansas Archeological Survey. found in the trash pit deserve mention. Although these objects may not tell us as much about the Block family as do the ceramics, they do provide details that flesh out the story. A variety of mostly broken glass was discarded in the trash pit, the pieces consisting of fragments representing bottles and jars. These were used during the early 1800s to hold beverages, preserved foods and condiments, liquid medicine and pills, ink, dyes, and cleaning products. Several remnants of wine bottles and mustard bottles could be identified. There was also a very small free-blown bottle, about 11 ⁄2 inches high by 3 ⁄4 inch in diameter, that probably held pills. In addition to containers, fragments of table glass were also recovered, which included tumblers, drinking glasses, and stemware. Other objects involved in foodways included a two-tine fork with a bone handle, a separate bone handle from an eating utensil, and a large bone handle with a cross-hatched grip that was probably part of a carving knife or fork (Fig. 4.11). Items for personal use that were found in the trash pit included a bone handle and a bone head from a toothbrush and a fine-toothed bone comb used to remove head lice. Limestone marbles and a bone or ivory domino show how the Block children amused themselves (Fig. 4.12). Two child-sized thimbles, one from Feature 14 and one found elsewhere, remind us that young girls, including the Block daughters, were taught needlework skills. A needle and part of a scissors were also found. Fragments of clay pipes 62 ■ THE ARCHEOLOGY OF PIONEER WASHINGTON Fig. 4.10: The bold, hand-painted designs on these bowls (top) are folkloric in style and would have brightened up a kitchen or dining room. The bottom row shows a small bowl (left) painted with a maroon-colored mum, and sherds from slipware pieces. Photo by Leslie Walker, Arkansas Archeological Survey...


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