Olive Jar


Florida Museum of Natural History, Tallahassee, Florida

Olive Jar
Produced from 1490 to 1900 CE, originating in Spain

The “Olive Jar” or tinajas, peruleras, or botijas are a very common storage or shipping vessel type and classification found throughout the world, especially from Spain to Mexico, the Carribean, and other Spanish colonies. It was commonly used as a shipping container from Spain to the New World. The shape evolved through time evolving in shape and manufacturing techniques. The pottery is usually a unglazed coarse earthenware with a buff off-white to tan or light orange paste with grit or heavy sand tempering. Vessels are a amphoroidal jar and can have a green lead glaze covering a portion of the vessel. The ceramic can be split up into different styles including generic, early, middle, or late style. Ceramic type is written about by Deagan (1987), Goggin (1960), Marken (1994), and Avery (1997).

Florida Museum of Natural History’s Guide to Ceramics: Generic Olive Jar, Early Style, Late Style, and Middle Style.

Early style olive jar ware:


Florida Museum of Natural History, Tallahassee, Florida


Florida Museum of Natural History, Tallahassee, Florida

“Ship wreck artifacts: from Florida’s coast. (1) Early style olive jar fragment: early style olive jars had two handles. this fragment was recovered from an eighteenth century shipwreck off Florida’s coast. (2) Majolica fragments, Columbia Plain type: Columbia Plain was a common majolica type manufactured from 1492-1650 CE. (3) Lead-glazed earthenware pot. (4) Ceramic fragments, Green Basin type: Green basin pottery, a lead glazed earthenware, had a green colored glaze on the vessel’s interior. The type dates to the 16th century. (5) El Morro ware fragments: this common lead glazed pottery, known as El Morro ware, was in use from about 1550 to 1770 CE. The term “El Morro” was derived by a Florida reearcher and generally is not used outside of Florida. (6) El Morro ware fragments. (7) El Morro water rim fragment. (8) Olive jar – this earthenware jar was recovered from an 18th century shipwreck off Florida’s coast. its form is similar to olive jars used in the 16th century. Its surface is covered partially with barnacle shells. barnacles are sea animals that attach to underwater objects. (9) Olive jar: although this example is from an 18th century shipwreck off Florida’s coast .. its shape is typical of the late 16th century. ” ~ Diorama/display in the Florida Museum of Natural History, Tallahassee, Florida. (Photo 091712-55.jpg) Ship Wreck artifacts: http://www.piraterelief.com/plank/?p=277 (Expected publication January 2013).


Florida Museum of Natural History, Tallahassee, Florida

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