Rare Glazed Pottery
The crew of the DARE recently found this beautiful piece of hand-glazed Majolica pottery on the Atocha wreck site. It is very rare to ever find a piece of intact pottery due to the manner in which the ship sank. Most of the pottery was shattered into small piece during the hurricane and then spent nearly 400 years being tossed about the ocean floor. We can clearly tell that this piece is half of a bowl and has hand designed decorations on its surface. Due to the glazed nature of this piece it is likely that it belonged to someone wealthier than the average passenger as the commoners typically used very plain pottery for their serving ware.

Conservation of this type of glazed pottery is different than process used with the more basic pottery. The more basic pottery can be placed in fresh water that is changed periodically to remove the chlorides from the artifact. Glazed pottery, conversely, must be slowly introduced into a gradually less concentrated saltwater mixture. It begins at a 90% saltwater, 10% freshwater mixture and steps down in 10% increments going to 80% saltwater, then 70% etc. until it is in pure fresh water and the conservation process is complete.

Here are a few images of this unique artifact.

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