Winter Fair Lecture: More than a Place to Stack Firewood: Excavating the Pottery Kilns on the East Side of Main Street.
Friday, December 28, 2018 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM James A. Gray Auditorium
More than a Place to Stack Firewood: Excavating the Pottery Kilns on the East Side of Main Street.
Geoffery Hughes,PhD Candidate, UNC-Chapel Hill and Lot 38 Project Archaeologist
In 1793, Salem’s second master potter, Rudolph Christ, embarked on a daring expansion of the congregation-owned pottery when he built a small kiln and shed to produce faience across the street from the pottery workshop. Two years later, he successfully made stoneware. And by 1800, customers in Salem could purchase a variety of new animal and figural bottles. Although originally an orchard and a place to stack firewood, over time three kilns were built across the street, ushering in a new chapter of pottery production as Salem entered the nineteenth century. With this expansion came a reorganization of the pottery landscape, changes to the production process itself, and new opportunities for those who worked in the pottery. Since 2016, archaeological excavation on Lot 38 has revealed evidence of these kilns and provided new insight into the production of pottery during this period.