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Blue-Green Bottle Shard

Two glass sherds and three bottle bases were recovered from the southeastern end of site 35F. One example featured here a is 5 x 5cm and 0.3cm thick aqua blue-green glass sherd which appears to be the remains of a base from an apothecary or medicinal ‘case’ bottle. Such utilitarian bottles were typically used for a host of liquid products including liquor, medicines, chemicals and oils.

This bottle type is generally known as a class of ‘case’ bottles in reference to the fact that they were typically shipped in cases of twelve. Although often incorrectly referred to as ‘Dutch gin’ bottles, they frequently did contain distilled liquor, yet it need not have been gin nor its origins Holland. While much of the site 35F bottle is no longer intact, the remaining base sherd is similar to the one square-based blue-green flacon bottle base fragment recovered from the wreck of Blackbeard’s Queen Anne’s Revenge, lost in North Carolina’s Beaufort’s inlet in 1718. Believed to be of French origin, flacons have been found in large numbers in archaeological collections from Louisbourg, Nova Scotia and also reported in French frontier sites such as the Trudeau site in Louisiana. Evidence from New World archaeological sites where flacon bottle glass has been found place their use throughout the 18th century, beginning as early as 1710.

The site 35F blue-green bottle base sherd exhibits a faint, blowpipe type pontil scar, a ring-shaped mark created by the residue of glass left by the blowpipe doubling as a pontil—and commonly seen on blown 'case' bottles. The site 35F example may be similar in form to examples excavated from the wrecks of the Dartmouth, lost off Mull, Scotland, in 1690, and the fifth-rate Royal Navy Frigate Sapphire which can be dated to 1696 or earlier.

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