Puritans’ ‘luxury items’ unearthed in Boston

The fragment of the 17th century Italian plate discovered in the neighbourhood of the Paul Revere House in Boston (Boston Archeology Program), and an illustration of the Pilgrim Fathers’ embarkation (iStock/ZU_09)

Archaeologists in Boston have unearthed surprising luxury items from the 17th century, throws new light on the life of the Puritans in the town.

Found Items include an extravagant clip of the 17th-century Venetian glassware, and a part of an Italian plate decorated with a flower, which dates from around 1630, in the oldest part of the European ceramic ever found in Boston.

“The points are important, because we rarely see archaeologically,” Joe Bagley, city archaeologist for the Boston Landmarks Commission, told Fox News via e-mail. “Also, Puritan Boston is often seen as a very conservative, reserved, and religious location in the 17th century, which it was, but in the richer houses, the residents had access to the luxury goods, bought them, and enjoyed their extravagant lifestyle in the privacy of their own home.”


The artifacts are part of a huge distance of objects that are found in the last month in the vicinity of the famous Paul Revere House in Boston’s North End. The discoveries were made where a property belonging to the 17th century mariner, John Jeffs was. The Moses Pierce house was built on the site around 1711 but the artifacts were found in the house of the yard.

The pipe discovered in the neighbourhood of the Paul Revere House in Boston (Boston Archeology Program)

The property is owned by the Paul Revere Memorial Association and the neighbouring building to the Paul Revere House.

“We found approximately 1000 works of art from the 17th century,” Bagley explained. “Most of them are bones of animals that were eaten on the Jeffs house. The other artifacts are the household ceramics, glassware, sewing pins, and other objects from daily life.”


For example, a pipe, made by Llewellyn Evans, who dates back to between 1661 and 1689, was found on the site.

“Luxury items are rare in other 17th century sites in New England, but the two best sites in Boston, including this one, are a great number of them showing that Boston was a center of wealth of the region and its inhabitants, and who had wealth were willing and able to show off a little bit, despite their Puritan lifestyle,” Bagley said.

The other site is the Katherine Nanny Naylor privy, which was discovered in 1992.

The artifacts are just the latest found on the historical site of the to enjoy experts. On a other location near the Paul Revere House, archaeologists recently unearthed a centuries-old barn that can be linked to the family of the famous patriot.

Follow James Rogers on Twitter @jamesjrogers


Follow us

Don't be shy, get in touch. We love meeting interesting people and making new friends.

Most popular