Dating pottery finds
Pearlware replaced creamware in popularity by the early 19th century.Pottery ware types could be plain or highly decorated.Both free and enslaved consumers on Nevis and St Kitts had access to a wide variety of imported pottery offered in a range of prices.Over half of each village's pottery assemblage was comprised of low-fired, locally-made coarse earthenwares known as Afro-Caribbean (AC) wares.They were also made in difference vessel forms, each with their own specific use.Pots were used for cooking, trenchers and three-handled mugs for communal dining, teabowls, teapots, and other teawares were used in high-style social rituals such as tea drinking.This is somewhat surprising given the robust trade in Afro-Caribbean pottery that occurred throughout the Caribbean in the 18th and 19th centuries.
This difference in variability (low for Nevis but high for St Eustatius) could be due to the St Eustatius site's location in the capital and port, Oranjestad.
Afro-Caribbean vessels were most often made in utilitarian hollow forms such as jars, pots, and bowls.
Charred residue on the interior of sherds indicates that many of these vessels contained food and were used as cooking pots that were placed directly over a fire.
For example, the presence of AC wares peaked on all three villages in the 1780s and then declined.
Were these locally-made wares produced by specialists or by all households?