The analysis of glassware from New Zealand historic sites

by Dean J Grogan

Institution: University of Otago
Year: 0
Record ID: 1303083
Full text PDF: http://hdl.handle.net/10523/5420


Currently there are a wide variety of methodologies in use for the analysis of glassware from New Zealand historic sites. Different methodological approaches and ways of presenting results mean that material from different sites cannot be accurately compared at any but the most basic level. The objective of this thesis is to develop a standardised, thorough, and repeatable methodology for the quantification of glassware, particularly glass bottles, from New Zealand's historic assemblages in order that more detailed comparisons may be undertaken. Development of this methodology entailed a review of previous glass analyses and the selection and the testing of many of these procedures on the glassware assemblage from the 1860's goldmining site of German Hill in Central Otago, New Zealand. The outcome of the analysis showed that it was possible to arrive at a range of results when using different quantification methods on the same assemblage, which has serious implications for any detailed comparisons between sites. The German Hill material was compared using statistical testing methods to assemblages from six other sites from around New Zealand. Despite differences between methodologies and presentation of data, these comparisons showed the potential for information that may be gained from detailed comparisons of this type, which so far have not been undertaken to any real extent in New Zealand historic archaeology. It is thought that a standardised methodology could act to encourage more comparisons of this type, which would allow the more accurate study of the differences in social and economic conditions between historical sites.