This small glass vessel is nearly complete, only the top of its thin neck is broken. The bottle was free blown, so it is slightly imperfect and sits a bit askew on a flat surface. Based on its shape and size, it likely contained material that had a medicinal purpose, a perfume, or may have been used in alchemical processes.
As this artifact was undergoing conservation, an exciting discovery was made. The remains of a minimum of three beetles had been sealed inside the bottle since about 1610. The remains were fragmentary with abdomen sections only about 1cm in length, but the pieces appeared to be the same species. These insect parts have not been formally identified, but after initial consultation with archaeoentomological specialists, they are likely from the genus Otiorhynchus sp., and could be the remains of Strawberry Root Wevils (Otiorhynchus ovatus) or Black Vine Wevils (Otiorhynchus sulcatus). Both of these species would have been brought by the colonists from Europe, and if they were alive when they were originally transported they could be considered invasive, as some species within the Otiorhynchus genus are noted for their damage to certain agricultural crops and shrubs.
Species of the Otiorhynchus genus don’t appear to have been used medicinally or in alchemical processes, so perhaps the insects made their way into the bottle to consume its original contents and were accidental travelers to North America.