European-Made Sealed Bottles Of Cherries Dated To 18th Century Found At Washington’s Mount Vernon


Conny Waters——Archaeologists working on renovations at George Washington’s old mansion, Mount Vernon, stumbled upon two European-manufactured intact and sealed glass bottles dated to the 1700s.

 European-Made Sealed Bottles Of Cherries Dated To The 1700s Found At Washington’s Mount Vernon

Archaeologists at George Washington’s Mount Vernon discover two intact, sealed 18th century glass bottles as part of the landmark privately funded $40 million Mansion Revitalization Project.

Discovered upright and sealed, each of the dark green glass bottles were found containing liquid. Their shape is characteristic for the styles dated to the 1740s – 1750s.

The artifacts were unearthed from a pit where they were likely misplaced and subsequently covered by a brick floor constructed in the 1770s.

“As we conduct a historic preservation effort at the iconic home of America’s first President and revolutionary hero, we have been deliberate and intentional about carefully excavating areas of potential disruption,” said Mount Vernon President & CEO Doug Bradburn, in a press release.

“Consequently, we have made a number of useful discoveries including this blockbuster find of two fully intact glass bottles containing liquid that have not been seen since before the war for American independence.”

As the bottles are shipped off for a comprehensive scientific analysis, it is important to provide an update on our findings and outline the next steps for this historic archaeological and preservation initiative at Mount Vernon, Bradburn explained .

He also said that this discovery marks the beginning of an exciting and transformational project aimed at strengthening and restoring the home of the nation’s first president.

European-Made Sealed Bottles Of Cherries Dated To The 1700s Found At Washington’s Mount Vernon

Two European-manufactured intact and sealed glass bottles dated to the 1700s. Courtesy: The Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association

The goal is to revitalize the site ensuring its endurance for the upcoming celebration of America’s 250th birthday in 2026.

According to Mount Vernon Principal Archaeologist Jason Boroughs, the recent archaeological discovery at Mount Vernon is a significant find. It sheds light on the lives of those who lived there in the 18th century. The recovery of intact, sealed bottles containing organic material is particularly noteworthy. This organic material can provide valuable insights and perspectives into the daily lives, practices, and customs of the inhabitants of Mount Vernon during that era.

Such archaeological finds are crucial in enhancing our understanding of historical periods and the people who lived through them.

After the bottles were unearthed, each was meticulously removed and transported to the Mount Vernon archaeology lab for further examination. Upon consulting with archaeological conservators, it was determined that extracting the liquid contents would help stabilize the glass, which had remained unexposed to the atmosphere for approximately two centuries.

Remarkably, cherries, including stems and pits, were found preserved within the liquid contents, which still retained the characteristic scent of cherry blossoms familiar to residents of the region during the spring season.

Written by Conny Waters – Staff Writer


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