Artifact of the Week: Ink Pots

The ink pots above are made of ceramic and glass, respectively. Archaeologists recovered these artifacts from Block 112 in Downtown San Diego. This section of San Diego housed a working class population during the late Victorian period (c.1880-1915).  A pot of ink cost about 5 cents at the time.

Most of the artifacts found in Block 112 come from uncovered privies and trash pits. Before the city instituted trash pickup, people would discard things in privies, cesspools, vacant lots, or simply outside their homes. The excavation of Block 112 revealed organic waste such as animal bones, shells, and seeds as well as broken ceramics, scraps of metal, and opium tins.

Date: Post-Contact Period (300 ya – present)
Material Class: Ceramic; Glass

Want to learn more? Visit the exhibit Block 112: The Untold Story of San Diego’s Working Class in the 1800s currently on view at the Center.