My name is Erica Simmons, and I am a junior majoring in archaeology. The content of this class is new to me, so I have learned a lot about lab analysis in historical archaeology. The past couple of weeks, we have been analyzing a large and diverse collection of ceramics. It was fun to learn to identify so many different kinds of ceramics, and there are some great artifacts. Next week we will finish up with ceramics and start to study glass. We have also been brainstorming what to study for our research projects this quarter. There have been some really exciting ideas. I am still trying to decide what to research, since there are so many interesting things to learn!
On Saturday we took a class field trip to San Jose to visit the site where Market Street Chinatown was located. It was hard to imagine the community on a space that is so different today. I found it really exciting to be there and to be able to connect all the artifacts we’ve been studying to a specific place. I also got a better sense of the area bordering the Chinatown. Then we went to the reconstructed Ng Shing Gung temple in the San Jose Historical Park. It was beautiful inside, and had some great display items, like a decorated lion’s head for parades. We also visited History San Jose and got a glimpse of their large collection of items from San Jose’s past. I want to thank Anita Kwock and Alida Bray for showing us around History San Jose and the Ng Shing Gung temple. It was a wonderful experience!
These three sherds are from an oil lamp. They fit together and are highly burned on the inside. I found this particularly interesting, because it was one of the few ceramic artifacts I saw that was not involved in food storage or consumption. It reminded me that we use objects for a wide range of activities. I had not thought about how people lighted their homes.