Coins are among the few artifacts recovered which actually have a date on them. But the archaeologists must be careful because coins can be used for long periods of time. This was especially true in colonial Virginia where there was a shortage of small change and even foreign currency was accepted. Many of the English silver coins found at the site had been clipped to make change.
This English sixpence dated 1602 was found in Ditch 3. A few English silver coins have been excavated from the site thus far.
The first potter working at Jamestown made this earthenware handle, which comes from a mixed context within the fort dating to the second quarter of the seventeenth century. There is no evidence that the colonists made their own pottery until about 1630. Until that time they had to rely on imports from England for the ceramics they needed to prepare, store, and consume their food and drink.
The Jamestown potter produced lead-glazed earthenware in utilitarian forms such as cooking pots, storage jars, pans, porringers, pipkins, pitchers, and mugs. He was probably trained in England as his forms mirror the shapes of the pottery produced in London and in the potteries along the border of Hampshire and Surrey counties.
This ring once belonged to colonist William Strachey who was in Virginia for only one year, 1610-1611. Sailing to Virginia on the Sea Venture in 1609, Strachey encountered storms which left him shipwrecked in Bermuda. Some believe that his account of this experience led William Shakespeare to write his play The Tempest.