Click on each image to learn more about some of the artifacts recovered from the First Home and what they can tell us about the Aldens’ lives there.
This copper ring has an image of St. Peter holding the keys to Heaven. John or Priscilla could have brought it on the Mayflower. It could also be a result of Jesuit trade with Native Americans.
Gun forks were placed inside the top of a wooden pole and attached with a ring or iron. The heavy musket was then rested and balanced on the gun fork, enabling better accuracy for the shooter.
This is a handle of a pestle for use with a mortar for grinding spices, herbs, fruit, nuts, other food items, or medicine.
Sewing items like scissors, thimbles, pins, needles, and thread were common household items in 17th-century Plymouth Colony.
This jar was likely used to hold provisions such as oil, beans, or wine. These were essential for the large Alden family, especially during harsh Massachusetts winters. The deep cellar within the First Home would have been an ideal place to store them.
This was likely the base piece of a mug. These were used as individual drinking vessels as opposed to communal jars and pitchers.
These sherds are remarkable in that they display the potter’s fingerprints. While this would not have been one of the Aldens, these are a direct connection with someone else who lived long ago.
This sherd is likely a piece of a Native American vessel. It is uncertain as to when this vessel dates from. It could have been used by Native peoples before the Aldens inhabited the land. It could also be a clue to the interactions between the colonists and Native Americans. John’s job as a land agent could easily have led to Native objects being found near his home. Finally, this piece could also have been left at the First Home after the Aldens moved away, either by Native peoples themselves or by land development projects that moved and mixed the soil.
Pitchers often held wine, beer, or other alcoholic drinks. These were then poured into individual mugs or tankards.
These vessels were used for serving vessels, other tablewares, or display. It is uncertain at this time whether these are English, Spanish, or Italian vessels.
This small Rhenish stoneware piece is from a was likely from a mug or tankard used to consume beer or ale. It was manufactured in Germany and traded with the English. The Aldens either brought this vessel with them aboard the Mayflower or received it from a later supply ship.
These sherds are similar to a wine cup found at Jamestown dating from the early years of the settlement. If John and Priscilla owned this cup, it would have shown off their wealth and status to visitors.