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Tableware

Within the “Tortugas” artifact collection is a major assemblage of 2,304 kitchen and tableware rims, handles, bases and sherds, the most extensive associated with any 1622 Tierra Firme shipwreck.

The diverse and well-decorated ceramic repertoire from the deep-sea “Tortugas” shipwreck expands our knowledge of early 17th-century shipboard life between Spain and the Americas. In the absence of high-status silver or pewter, pottery served as the exclusive medium for tableware on this modest merchant vessel. The “Tortugas” assemblages provide a unique snapshot of cultural tastes in the early years of King Philip IV’s reign.