Bowl Fragment

This earthenware bowl fragment was assembled from pieces found at an archeological site at Rosewell plantation in Gloucester County, Virginia. Pottery of this type, sometimes called colonoware, was hand-built and burned in an open fire primarily during the 17th and 18th centuries. It was usually used for cooking, and could be made by anyone with access to clay and fire.
Archeological evidence suggests that most of the colonoware found on South Carolina plantation sites was made by enslaved Africans for their own use. On Virginia plantations, archeologists debate whether colonoware was made by slaves, by Native Americans for use by slaves, or both. Some colonoware fragments were found at the site of a Pamunkey Indian reservation, near Rosewell plantation suggesting that the local tribe did make this type of ware. Colonoware drops out of the archeological record everywhere by the first decades of the 19th century probably due to plantation reform, such as centralized cooking, and to more readily available iron, a more efficient material for cooking.
The ruins of Rosewell plantation can be found on the west bank of Carter’s Creek, where it enters the York River. The house, built starting around 1721 by Mann Page I, has been described as the finest example of domestic architecture in Colonial American. Archeologists found this rim shard during the excavation of a trash pit just west of the house from 1957 to 1959.
Currently not on view
Object Name
date made
1750 - 1777
Physical Description
ceramic (overall material)
overall (on stand): 3 1/8 in x 8 in x 4 in; 7.9375 cm x 20.32 cm x 10.16 cm
Place Made
United States: Virginia, Gloucester
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Cultures & Communities
Artifact Walls exhibit
See more items in
Home and Community Life: Ceramics and Glass
Artifact Walls exhibit
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Additional Media

Visitor Comments

Add a comment about this object

**Please read before submitting the form**

Have a comment or question about this object to share with the community? Please use the form below. Selected comments will appear on this page and may receive a museum response (but we can't promise). Please note that we generally cannot answer questions about the history, rarity, or value of your personal artifacts.

Have a question about anything else, or would you prefer a personal response? Please visit our FAQ or contact page.

Personal information will not be shared or result in unsolicited e-mail. See our privacy policy.

Enter the characters shown in the image.