An archaeological dig around the Paul Revere House in the North End has turned up some of the oldest European-produced artifacts ever found in Boston and maybe the United States.
These include ceramic crafted in the Pisa area of what’s now northern Italy just before 1650.
Such windows into the city’s early history—Boston dates officially from 1630—came as a bit of a surprise. The city-run dig was a precursor to construction around the Paul Revere House, and it was expected to turn up relics from the 19th century.
Then archaeologists came upon “a dark, undisturbed soil with plenty of charcoal, possibly used as fill after a fire in 1676 destroyed many surrounding homes,” per the Globe’s Brian MacQuarrie.
Beneath that were the 17th-century gems—which, though rare to us now, were probably common among Boston’s more affluent residents: Then as now, the port city was booming.
- North End archaeological dig finds 1600s artifacts [Globe]
- Paul Revere House fundraising to revamp next-door building [Curbed Boston]
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