The city is leading an archaeological dig at the Shirley-Eustis House at 33 Shirley Street in Roxbury, one of the last colonial governor’s mansions standing the United States.
The dig, which started October 1 and is overseen by Boston archaeologist Joe Bagley, has already netted discoveries from the 18th and 19th centuries such as clothespins, marbles, broken glass, ceramics, a piece of a doll, and uranium glass, per the Globe’s Emily Sweeney. The glass was likely part of an oil lamp.
A sample of late 19th century artifacts from the area just outside the shed/privy structure at the @shirley_eustishouse #archaeology #digBOS #digSEH #digROX #boston #roxbury https://t.co/Rs7IVsuL60 pic.twitter.com/AHPuOu9RHg— Boston Archaeology (@BostonArchaeo) October 5, 2018
But the big find would be—and probably is—an outhouse or privy. Such structures were not only used for relief, thereby providing a window into the diets of people of yesteryear, but also as de facto trash heaps. Any number of artifacts tend to turn up around privies.
What’s more, such a repository can show not only what notables at the old governors mansion threw away, but what lesser-known residents tossed. Stay tuned.
Looks like we found the shed/privy structure! The line between the dark large rocks on the left and the brown soil to the right appears to be the edge! Going to dig deeper to see if it has a foundation. If so, it is almost definitely a privy with a vault… https://t.co/7jMioagqDS pic.twitter.com/Z80mLx08B3— Boston Archaeology (@BostonArchaeo) October 9, 2018