Olive Jar Physical Object

Accession Number
Alternate object names
Creation Date
circa 1620
A medium sized earthernware olive jar from the wreck of the 1622 galleon Nuestra Señora de Atocha. This jar is 32 centimeters tall and has a diameter of 25 centimeters. It is thought that botijas of this size were generally used to carry olive oil. This jar is heavily encrusted with calcareous marine growth - evidence of the centuries it spent underwater.

30.0 by 22.0 cm.

Exhibition Label
Case Caption:
Object Caption: OLIVE JARS Earthenware (c.1620) Gift of Jamestown Inc., Museum Purchase Fund 1986.008.0841, 1986.008.0852, 1986.008.0891,1986.008.1106-7 1986.008.1110, 2004.006.0002-11 Spanish galleons are particularly known for their profusion of earthenware containers. Varying in size, these held items that ranged from water and wine to medicine and even olives. Sealed with a wooden bung at the top, they were watertight, and their shape made it easy to stack them on a lower deck, leaning against each other and not likely to roll. Some people marked their jars with their logos to make sure they received the right goods. While many broken jars were found on the wreck sites of the Nuestra Señora de Atocha and the Santa Margarita, the intact jars came from a smaller ship in the fleet, the Buen ]esus.
Previous Exhibit Case Caption: Removed 2022. Small Olive Jars Recovered from the Nuestra Señora de Atocha Earthenware, c. 1620 Gift of Jamestown Treasure Salvors, Inc. 86.08.0850, 86.08.0852, 86.08.0891 Smaller earthenware jars were less common, and carried more costly products such as special oils and honey.