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Date: Jan. 28th '08
Two More Bottles from Cupids
January 28, 2008. 11:20 a.m.

Ongoing work at the lab in Cupids has resulted in the partial reconstruction of two more seventeenth-century wine bottles (shown above). The bottle on the left measures 12cm in height and the one on the right is 12.5cm high. According to bottle specialist John Wicks, both are of a type manufactured in the late seventeenth century, between circa 1689 and 1700.

The larger of the two was recovered from the collapsed cellar pit that was originally part of the storehouse erected by John Guy’s party in 1610. The storehouse and adjoining dwelling house were destroyed by fire in the 1660s after which the pit became a convenient place to dump refuse. The smaller bottle was found inside Structure 2, a small building located just a few feet south of the cellar pit.

The presence of these bottles, along with a great deal of other physical evidence, clearly indicates that the site continued to be used long after the fire of the 1660s. The smaller bottle is the second nearly complete, late-seventeenth-century bottle to be reconstructed from inside Structure 2 (See the entry for November 30, 2007 below). During the excavation of Structure 2 in 1999 we also recovered, among many other things, a complete German-manufactured Westerwald cup dating to sometime between 1690 and 1720 inside the building (See Cupids, Occupation on this site for a photo of the Westerwald cup). The presence of these artifacts inside Structure 2 strongly suggests that, contrary to what we had once believed, this building remained standing and in use until at least the last decade of the seventeenth century.

Date: Nov. 30th '07
Reconstructing Bottles at Cupids
Cupids, November 30, 2007. 3:15 p.m.

Excavations at Cupids have finished for the season but work continues at the archaeology lab. Over the past few weeks some of the crew have been busy sorting the seventeenth-century bottle glass from the site. Preliminary analysis of the glass indicates that we have fragments from at least seventeen case bottles and sixteen onion bottles and shaft and globe bottles. Light-green, square-sided case bottles were first manufactured in the sixteenth century and continued to be used throughout the seventeenth; globular, long-necked shaft and globe bottles were produced during the middle decades of the seventeenth century; and dark-green, globular, short-necked onion bottles were common during the latter part of the seventeenth century and the early eighteenth century.

In some cases enough of a particular bottle has been recovered to allow us to undertake a partial reconstruction. The image above shows one of the partially reconstructed bottles as it looked this morning (November 30). This particular example dates to sometime between 1689 and 1700. Most of the fragments of this bottle were recovered from inside Structure 2 this past season. However some of the shards were found scattered as much as nine metres to the north of Structure 2 back in 1997. Work on this bottle and much of the other reconstruction work is being conducted by crew member Linda Saunders from Carbonear.

Date: Nov. 6th '07
Building a Walkway at the Cupids Site
Wooden Walkway Constructed at the Cupids Site

Access to the archaeological site at Cupids will be greatly facilitated next season by the construction of a 130 ft (39.6 m) long wooden walkway that was completed last week. Four feet wide and built of pressure-treated wood, the walkway runs along the eastern and southern edges of the dwelling house and storehouse erected by John Guy and his men in the fall of 1610. Three square observation platforms have also been erected at intervals along its length and eight full-colour history boards will be placed along the walkway before the site opens for visitors again in June of 2008.

Date: Sep. 24th '07
West Country Households, 1500-1700
“The Society for Post-Medieval Archaeology was founded in 1966 with the aim of promoting the archaeology of late medieval to industrial society in Britain, Europe and those countries influenced by European colonialism. The Society now covers the archaeology of the period up to the present day. To achieve this aim the Society publishes the biannual journal Post-Medieval Archaeology, and a twice yearly newsletter, as well as regular monographs, and holds conferences and meetings.”

The 2007 conference ran from September 14 to September 17 and was divided into two parts. The first part was held in Exeter, Devon and the second took place in Taunton, Somerset. The theme of the conference was “West Country Households, 1500-1700". Some of the sessions included: “The Development of the House and its Decoration, 1500-1700"; “Change in the House”; “The 17th Century Houses of Topsham”; and “Metalware and Ceramics in the Early-Modern Household”.

Other activities included a walking tour of Exeter titled “An Introduction to the Post-Medieval Archaeology of Exeter”, a Friday evening reception at the Guildhall in Exeter, and a Saturday evening trip to Topsham.

The Baccalieu Trail Heritage Corporation’s chief archaeologist, Bill Gilbert, attended the conference. Bill also spent several days at Bournemouth University in Dorset where he conducted a seminar on the archaeological discoveries made at Cupids over the past twelve years.

Click here to find out more about the Society for Post-Medieval Archaeology.

Date: Apr. 21st '07
Canadian Archaeological Association 2007 in St. John's
The Canadian Archaeological Association (CAA) Conference in St. John’s, Newfoundland.

The 40th Annual Meeting of the Canadian Archaeological Association (CAA) was held at the Fairmont Hotel, St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador from May 16-20, 2007. Over three hundred archaeologists from across Canada and around the world attended what proved to be a very successful four days of presentations, discussions and socializing. The Baccalieu Trail Heritage Corporation’s Chief Archaeologist, William Gilbert, attended the conference and presented two papers: one on his work at the site of the oldest English settlement in Canada at Cupids and another on his work on the Indian sites at Russell’s Point and Dildo Island.

Among the various excursions associated with the conference was a day long boat trip from Dildo to Stock Cove in Trinity Bay conducted on Sunday, May 20 by Dildo Island Adventure Tours and lead by William Gilbert. The trip retraced the route followed by John Guy’s party aboard the bark Indeavour between October 26 and November 3, 1612 when the colonists were attempting to meet and establish friendly relations with the Beothuk.

Fifteen archaeologists from as far afield as St. John’s, Halifax, Ottawa, Toronto, Saskatchewan, Edmonton, New York and New Mexico took part in the trip which lasted from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.. Although the weather was foggy with scattered showers of rain, everyone learned a little more about an important chapter in Newfoundland’s early history and thoroughly enjoy the day. No doubt it was an adventure that everyone will remember for many years to come.
You can find out more about the Canadian Archaeological Association by clicking here. William Gilbert's 1990 paper on John Guy's voyage into Trinity Bay is available online from Newfoundland and Labrador Studies.

Main image: Stock Cove where John Guy’s party saw nine Beothuk houses on November 3, 1612. Others, left to right: Beothuk arrowheads from Trinity Bay; a 1628 depiction of Guy’s party meeting Beothuk in Bull Arm by Matthaus Merian; CAA 2007 logo created by Peter Ramsden.