Archaeology: Genever Finds

What’s in a name? Well for archaeologists it can be an informative way to learn more about the cultural materials that people left behind. The pictured ceramic fragment is part of a stone ware bottle found on St. John that dates to the eighteenth century. It was specifically made for a gin-like spirit called genever that was produced from rye and barley. Genever was popularized in Dutch cities by the late seventeenth century and was a staple for general consumption and medicinal purposes on Dutch ships. The engraved name “Blankenheym” refers to a distillery in Rotterdam, Netherlands that began making genever in 1714. Whole bottles and fragments like this one have been found at several Dutch shipwrecks and archaeology sites across the Caribbean. This artifact will be added to the Virgin Islands National Park’s historic comparative collection as part of a new initiative to expand educational resources for cultural heritage projects.

Learn more about archaeology in the park —

Attend a talk on archaeology at Cinnamon Bay Campground on Friday evenings. Learn more here —

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