Enter content here

Enter content here

Enter content here

The C-04 Bartlett site was once believed to be te home of early colonist Robert Bartlett.  This was the late Dr. James Deetz's first archaeological excavation in Plymouth Colony. It has subsequently shown that this site dates to the late 17th to early 18th century.  The small artifact assemblage is important because of its intense focus around the hearth, cellar hole and west yards, increasing our understanding of refuse disposal and patterning by looking at the artifact distributions.



The C-04 Robert Bartlett II site is located in South Plymouth, Massachusetts just on the other side of the Eel River from the Plimoth Plantation museum.  This was the first site excavated by Dr. James Deetz in his quest for an early Plymouth Colony housesite.  Deetz was invited to excavate the site by Harry Hornblower, founder and president of Plimoth Plantation at the time, and the Society of the Descendents of Robert Bartlett who had erected a memorial boulder at the site in 1910.

Deetz excavations uncovered a cellar hole that he initially identified as being to a "smokehouse" but later, in 1963 when a stone lined hearth was found nearby, stated it was associated with the house.  The site was initially believed to be the home of Robert Bartlett, a colonist who arrived on the Fortune in 1623.  Unfortunately, the artifacts recovered place the date of occupation at late 17th to early 18th century.  It is now believed that the site was the home of Robert Bartlett II, Robert's grandson, and dates from 1678-1743.  The cellar hole deposits are beloved, on the basis of clay pipe and ceramic evidence, to date to circa 1743 when the house may have been dismantled.

In total, 250 fragments of at least 27 white clay tobacco pipes were recovered from the 1959 and 1963 excavations at the C-04 Bartlett site.  Of these 249 fragments, 145 were stems or stem/ bowl juncture fragments with measurable stem bores.  The majority were

 Table 1. Clay pipe fragment distribution C-04 site

7/64"   6/64"               5/64"               Bowl Frags   Stems           RT Bowl Fragments

1/ .4%  21/ 8.4%        123/ 49.2%        90/ 36%       4/ 1.6%          11/ 4.4%

 5/64" in diameter (Table 1), with 6/64" being the second most common. This indicates an occupation period spanning the end of the 17th to middle 18th century, a date range supported by the documentary and other artifactual evidence.  Compared with the other sites in Plymouth Colony that have been analyzed thus far, the Bartlett site is in the later part of the study period (). 

 Clay pipe fragments were found scattered to the north of the hearth and cellar hole in an area that likely represents the location of one of the doors of the house. Clay pipe fragments were also concentrated in the western portion of the cellar hole and just outside of the bulkhead stairs to the west (). These concentrations correspond with those recorded for faunal and ceramic remains.

Six types of identifiable pipe bowls were recovered (), the majority of which were found to date to the first half of the 18th century.  These types included two heelless funnel varieties dating from 1730-1760, three elongated heeled bowls dating from 1700-1760 and one late 17th century large belly bowl variety (1660-1690).  Two types of maker's marks were found on the bowls.  The first was an embossed I/ W on the heel of one of the elongated heeled bowls.  This mark has been identified with the St. Albans Hoywell Hill Kiln of John Webster,  1711-1726 (Bristol Pipes 48). The second mark is an embossed RT on the side of 11 bowl fragments.  This is the mark of Robert Tippett who was making pipes from 1680-1720. As can be seen in the pipe distribution, the majority of these fragments were recovered from in front of the probable door location and in the northwestern yard, possibly in an area of refuse disposal. The stem bore measurements associated with the different types of pipes are given below.

 Pipe Type 1

1730-1760 Heelless Funnel

5 6/64"

12 5/64"


Pipe Type 2

Long bowl

1730-1760 Bristol 39

1 6/64"

1 5/64"


Pipe Type 3

Long bowl

IW on heel

St. Albans Hoywell Hill Kiln of John Webster 1711-1726 Bristol Pipes 48

2 5/64"

2 6/64"


Pipe Type 4

long bowl 1700-1740 Bristol pipes 39



Type 5

heelless funnel 1730-1760 Bristol



Type 6

large belly bowl 1660-1690 Bristol