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Feb 23, 2018
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Around York County

Teawares from Chiskiack Watch
Merry Abbitt Outlaw
When you are enjoying your next cup of tea, take a moment to consider its role in the lives of our colonial ancestors.  When tea was first introduced to the English in the mid-17th century, only the aristocracy were able to afford it.  By the early 1700s, tea was more available and affordable, and tea drinking became more widespread in England.  As evidenced by the archaeological record, it soon was adopted by Virginians, too. 
A complex etiquette for the preparation and consumption of  tea developed, which required beautiful and fragile ceramics to reflect the economic and social status of its owners. Chinese porcelains comprised the earliest tea ceremony vessels, but in the 18th century British potters competed with ceramic tea wares of their own. Ceramic teapots, teacups, and saucers are the most commonly recovered archaeological tea drinking artifacts. The artifacts below were found in the Lightfoot store cellar during Chiskiack Watch excavations in 1989-1990.  They illustrate some of the tea wares imported for use by style conscious Virginians during the 2nd quarter of the 18th century.  See below for photos courtesy of Merry Outlaw

Chinese porcelain tea bowl with polychrome Imari decoration and hand-painted cobalt blue landscape with bird motif, 2nd quarter 18th century.

Sherds of a red stoneware teapot made in
Staffordshire, England,  2nd  quarter of the 18th century.  Note the  elaborate decoration  applied to the body.

White saltglazed stoneware teapot
  manufactured in Staffordshire,   England, 2nd quarter of the 18th century.  This  and the red  stoneware pot shown above would have held only one to two cups  of tea.

Museum Hours
Weekends beginning in April,  1:30 - 3:30 
Expanded summer hours - TBA
Free and Open to the Public

For more information or to arrange a private tour, please phone (757) 8983727.

The York County Historical museum is a 501-C-3 non-profit organizations.  All donations are tax deductible.

For more information about the Museum, e-mail Bonnie Karwac at bonnielk@yahoo.com
For more information or comments about the newsletter, e-mail Belinda Willis at Belinda@BHWillis.com


Volunteer Hours for December 2006

Thanks to everyone who supports the Museum with their time.




A Happy Reunion
All of the artifacts from the Chiskiack Watch excavations have been removed from the Cook Road site to York Hall.  This is the first time the collection has been together since they were excavated!


Now Available!
Walking Tour of Yorktown Booklets available at Ben and Jerry's.  A donation of $1.50 is requested.


What's a "sherd?"

noun - a broken piece of a brittle artifact [syn:  shard}

courtesy of Dictionary.com


Volunteers Needed
Museum Docents Needed - Training Provided
Call Jim Funk for more details (757) 898-4910.


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Pictures from the Custom House Dig

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