This beer jug is one of the most exciting finds that archeologists have made at Jamestown because it was recovered intact. Inexpensive utilitarian ceramics like this were used on a daily basis, and thus were likely to break during their lifetimes. Once broken, the broken sherds would have been thrown away. Archaeologists recover most ceramic vessels in fragments and mend them to create more complete objects. Not necessary for this jug! Curiously, this jug was still in excellent, usable condition when it was discarded.
This 7 ½ inch tall jug was a single-serving vessel for drinking beer. Drinking jugs of this tall, cylindrical-style have been found on English archaeological sites and is known to have been produced in the late 1500’s, suggesting that it may have been used in England prior to its life at Jamestown. Thrown on a wheel and handled while damp, the jug exhibits the potter’s fingerprints on the exterior and interior and in a thumb impression on the handle where it meets the body.