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Exploring Delaware's Green roots in redware pottery

Green Pottery Collection.jpg

The Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs recently received a donation of pottery fragments from a site known as the Green Pottery site in Smyrna.

Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs curator of archaeology Paul Nasca visits to discuss the collection and Delaware’s roots in redware pottery.

Delaware Public Media's Kelli Steele interviews Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs curator of archaeology Paul Nasca

The Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs recently received a donation of pottery fragments.

The over 1,000 fragments come from a historic site on Main Street in Smyrna that was home to Green Pottery.

Chamber Pot Fragments.jpg
Chamber Pot Fragments

And the Division’s curator of archaeology Paul Nasca says they help tell a story,

“This is Kent County’s earliest ceramic manufacturing site. It dates all the way back to the 1780’s and was an important local community craft production center that served the Smyrna residents, as well as residents beyond Smyrna," he said. "Charles Green purchased the property in 1764. But research has indicated that the pottery probably didn’t get going until the mid 1780’s”

Nasca says Green probably learned his trade as an apprentice in Philadelphia - and after his death in 1809 - passed the business to his son, William, who continued manufacturing pottery at the site until 1817.

Nasca notes archaeologists investigated the site in 1991 and this collection originates from that work.

Jug Glaze Variation.jpg

He says they were donated by a private donor who is a historian and scholar of early Delaware ceramics.

Over the next few months, the collection will be sorted, numbered and cataloged for study and public display.

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Kelli Steele has over 30 years of experience covering news in Delaware, Baltimore, Winchester, Virginia, Phoenix, Arizona and San Diego, California.