Oceans Odyssey 4 presents a major collection of olive jars, tablewares, cooking vessels and tobacco pipes excavated from the Tortugas shipwreck at a depth of 405 meters in the Straits of Florida. The Spanish ship’s Seville dominated pottery dated to 1622 is an index of unchanged cultural tastes and production at the end of Spain’s Golden Age. For cooking the crew relied on Afro-Caribbean colonoware, possible evidence of maritime slavery in the Americas fleets. Tin-glazed plates painted with the papal coat of arms may have served Spanish clergymen from the newly formed Sacred Congregation of the Propagation of the Faith. The Andalusian olive jars are compared to Roman Baetican amphoras as microcosms of distinct economics. Samples of all ceramics were subjected to Inductively-Coupled Plasma Spectrometry (ICPS) to assess vessel origins.
Greg Stemm, Sean Kingsley & Ellen Gerth (eds.), Oceans Odyssey 4. Pottery from the Tortugas Shipwreck, Straits of Florida: A Merchant Vessel from Spain’s 1622 Tierra Firme Fleet (Oxbow Books, Oxford, 2014).