Elem Historic Feature 2

Material recovered from Feature 2

EuroAmerican ceramic maker’s marks
Chinese rice bowl fragments
Chinese tea pot lid and food jar fragment
Shoe fragments
Flat-base spear point

Mine waste excavation beneath the western road encountered historical artifacts just north of the intersection of Pomo Street and the road that leads to the cul-de-sac.  The feature was well defined and consisted of black soil, bricks, rusty metal, blown glass, Euroamerican ceramics, and square nails covering an area 10.5 x 12.8 meters.  The feature area was flagged and its boundary spray-painted to keep construction workers and equipment out.

The mine waste had been removed and it was anticipated that the feature would be protected and preserved beneath the clean fill brought in for road construction.  With the understanding that the feature would be protected, only a single 5-gallon bucket sample (for ¼” processing) and a 2,000cc sample (for 1/8” processing) were obtained from the feature.  In addition, any diagnostic artifacts exposed on the surface of the feature were collected and processed.

Graphs of the Feature 2 samples indicate that “EuroAmerican glass” was the most abundant of the artifacts by weight, followed by “EuroAmerican other” (metal, leather, building material, etc.) and “EuroAmerican ceramics”.  Also recovered were obsidian stone tool manufacturing material (debitage), Asian ceramics, points, dietary bone, and organic material.

Feature 2 location

EuroAmerican Ceramics

Euroamerican ceramics were of stoneware and creamware and included pieces of at least 4 main-course plates, one saucer, one soup bowl, and one pitcher.

Two makers marks were recovered.  One was a piece manufactured by James Edwards & Son between 1851 and 1882 (H2-66).  The other was manufactured by John Maddock & Sons sometime around 1896.  Both potters operated out of Burslem England (Godden 1991:230,406).  The reader must remember that the date of a maker’s mark does not provide the age of the historic feature.  Plates and bowls can be owned and used for many years before breakage causes them to be discarded.  The age of a maker’s mark can be used to indicate that the historic feature is not older than the age of the mark.

Most EuroAmerican ceramics were plain white glazed (H2-10), however, both transfer-ware (H2-41) and hand painted styles (H2-45) were recovered.

Asian Ceramics

Asian porcelain included pieces of 4 bamboo rice bowls, one serving bowl and a teapot lid.  One stoneware food jar or spouted jar fragment was recovered.   Spouted jars contained liquids such as soy sauce, peanut oil, wine, etc.

EuroAmerican Glassware

All of the identifiable glassware recovered (10 items) were machine made, generally indicating manufacture after 1917.  One piece was of purple glass (indicating manufacture between 1880 and 1914) and one piece was honey yellow (indicating manufacture between 1914 and 1930).

Of the bottle styles that could be identified, three were food jars (H2-25), two were canning jars (H2-56, 57), two were medicine bottles (H2-26), two contained alcohol (H2-21), and one was a soda bottle.  Also included were a drinking glass (H2-54), a gallon jug (H2-55), and a few pieces of broken window glass.

Glass maker’s marks provide additional information concerning the age of Feature 2.  The stylized “HA” mark of the Hazel-Atlas Glass Company was only used between 1920 and 1964 (Toulouse 1971:239).  The beer bottle had an Owens Illinois mark indicating manufacture between 1929 and 1954 (Toulouse 1971:403).

The Best Foods jar base had an Owens Illinois Pacific mark that was used between 1932 and 1943 (Toulouse 1971:406).

EuroAmerican Other

Metal items included a garden hoe/weeder, sheet metal (most likely rusted cans), 2 square nails and 4 wire nails.

Also recovered were a piece of floor linoleum, hewn wood, a black leather loafer and a rubber work shoe.

Stone Tools

One flat-based spear point was recovered (H2-65).  This point had a hydration band of 1.2 microns indicating manufacture ~100 B.P. or 1900-1908.


All artifacts recovered from Feature 2 suggest general household discard.   Household items included male oriented clothing, consumption of food purchased in cans and jars, consumption of medicine and alcohol, as well as canning activities.  Tableware suggested casual meals that were served and taken on plates and in bowls along with tea or other hot beverages.  Asian ceramics suggest some household members were of Asian descent.  Tools suggest vegetable gardening was taking place.  Although a small amount of bone was recovered, there wasn’t enough for statistical analysis.  Although there was some bird bone (chicken), most bone was mammal including one saw-cut beef rib.  Chipped obsidian and a point suggest that stone tool manufacture was taking place.

A graph of the periods of manufacture of various time-sensitive artifacts suggests that Feature 2 represents use and discard of materials no earlier than 1900 and no later than 1933.