Latitude 50° 18.1 N
Longitude 004° 07.0 W
Depth 18m
Accuracy 300m
Object Type Oil jar
Material Ceramic - stoneware
Description Oil jar fragments
Markings None
Condition Poor
Completeness 10% estimated
Number of items 8
Location Description South west of Mewstone
Seabed type Sand and rock

Olive Oil Jars

A number of broken and eroded fragments of one or more large jars were found in a sandy gully close to the Mewstone at the eastern side of the entrance to Plymouth Sound.

Eight fragments in 11A20 were found with the largest 280 x 260mm and the smallest 150 x 125mm. The maximum radius found on any piece was 280mm and the smallest was 190 mm. One fragment included a vestigial crescent shaped handle 250mm long and 35mm wide. The fragments were all made from similar brick red terracotta with a brown glaze on the inner surface. Two of the fragments are separated parts of the same piece but the break between them has marine fouling and is not recent.

12A08 is a fragment of the neck of one of the oil jars 220mm by 210mm with an approximately 40% section of the 190mm diameter hole.

12A12 is a fragment of the side of a jar including the vestigial handle and the faint remains of a makers or owners mark 'IF'.

The fragments are similar to the oil storage jars found near the Mewstone in 1968 and reported in the IJNA in 1972 (1). These jars were identified as oil storage jars from the 18th and 19th centuries that were in use in Europe and her colonies.

12A18, 13A03, 13A04, 13A06, 13A13, 13A15 Lid, 13A59, 13A60


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Fragments of oil jar (11A20)

Drawing of an intact oil jar

12A12 Oil jar

Oil jar handle and makers or owners mark (12A12)

12A08 Oil Jar

Jar neck fragment (12A08)


(1) Ashdown J., 1972, Mewstone Ledge Site B: Oil Jars, International Journal of Nautical Archaeology 1972.1 p147-153