Describe what you think the First Home looked like 400 years ago.

Visit the Artifacts tab (under Archaeology). Pick your favorite artifact. What is it made out of? What was it used for? Do you have something like it at home that you use every day?

Artifact Puzzle: Archaeologists usually work with tiny pieces of artifacts rather than large, intact items. This happens for two reasons. First, archaeologists are most often finding the everyday waste that people of the past threw away, such as broken dishes and bottles. Second, artifacts that were once whole when left in the ground are over time subjected to weathering, animal activity, land development, and other factors that cause additional breaks. Archaeologists therefore have to use clues like an object’s size, shape, and decoration to figure out what the original object was before it was broken.

Here are two examples from the First Site. On the left are two sherds found in the Aldens’ home. On the right are a reconstructed milk pan and candlestick. Can you find where on these objects each sherd fits? What other sherd characteristics might help archaeologists figure out what kind of artifact they belong to?