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Drinking Glasses from Port Royal, Jamaica, Circa 1660-1850: A Study of Styles and Usage.

Patricia McClenaghan
Thesis: August 1988
Chair: Hamilton
Nautical Archaeology Program


Port Royal, Jamaica, was a wealthy and important trading and slave distribution centre during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Later the town became the bastion of British naval power in the Caribbean.

Maritime and terrestrial archaeological sites in Port Royal have yielded representative artifacts from the town's various periods of occupation. Among the numerous glass artifacts recovered was an extensive and varied collection of partially-intact drinking glasses. The comprehensive range of types and styles of table glass suggest many uses in a variety of locations, and imply a degree of refinement in material culture seldom associated with a frontier colonial existence. According to stylistic attributes and lead content, most of the glassware is English, manufactured in the late-seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

This thesis is concerned with the identification and analysis of the drinking glasses. For comparative purposes, a descriptive catalogue is provided with illustrations. conclusions drawn from the analysis may well provide a fresh perspective of daily life in historic Port Royal.

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