Whitehall Slip.23 Miscellaneous Find Between Decking Column 18-Decking Column 20 (C18-C20). One artifact was recovered in this context, and is discussed in the Site Report, page 6-61: This pink conch shell, probably collected somewhere in the Caribbean, has a number of saw marks and part of the outer shell has been removed in strips, probably to make buttons possibly to make wampum or other beads. Wampum was an important artifact in early New York (Cantwell and Wall 2001:132-133). Made by the Lenape from the columna (central cores) of local whelk shells (for white beads) and the purple part of quahog shells (for the more valuable purple beads), it effectively became the currency of New Netherland and its importance continued during English control for the remainder of the 17th and into the 18th century. The Dutch turned wampum and its production into a commodity subject to the laws of the marketplace. Europeans or their dependent Native communities might have used this shell in the commercial production of wampum, although its use in button production is more likely. No other artifacts were collected with it, although its collection location suggests a possible relationship with other contexts in the vicinity of C18 and C20, which have a TPQ of 1800 (from Cat. 15598.020).
  • Collection method

    A context created to track miscellaneous finds, possibly related to context 15598.020

South Ferry Terminal

Manhattan, Battery Park, South Ferry Terminal

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