We are now beginning our final month of work with this collection for this year. Currently, we are concentrating on finishing the catalog of Asian stoneware vessels, commonly referred to as brownwares. These vessels were used in diverse ways, including storing and dispensing sauces and other food items. These utilitarian vessels are rather different to work with from the more decorated tablewares! The tablewares are often decorated in colorful patterns or exhibit a greater range of morphological types. However, these more utilitarian vessels were very important at the site, both in terms of their function and also in terms of quantity.
At this point we are also performing substantive quality control checks on our database, as well as reevaluating our typologies and the nomenclature we have used. This review was greatly aided by the visit of two of us with Mary Maniery of Public Archaeological Research in Sacramento. She kindly shared with us her reference library as well as showed us part of the collection excavated from a Chinatown in Folsom. Already we are able to begin to assess the Market Street Chinatown collection’s similarity and difference with other collections. This is exciting, as it underscores the research value of this collection.
Once again, we have encountered artifacts which stumped us! Pictured here is artifact 85-31/27-48, which we were unable to identify. It is hollow, but the cavity is quite shallow. During our visit to PAR in Sacramento, Mary Maniery identified this artifact for us as an apothecary jar, of a type found at nineteenth century sites. It has been very important for us to be able to draw on the knowledge of the California archaeological community in cataloging this collection, and we want to take this opportunity to thank all of the archaeologists who have generously taken time to visit the collection and who have invited us to view collections and resources that they have. This cooperation has been a valuable addition to this project, which has its roots in collaborative work among diverse interested groups. This will be the last regular update of the website for a while. The next posting will include a link to the end of the year report on this project. Please check back to view this link – it should be up sometime this summer! Thanks for stopping by!