Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Historical Archaeology

First Advisor

Christa M. Beranek

Second Advisor

Stephen W. Silliman

Third Advisor

Michael T. Lucas


This thesis examines 17th-century glass drinking vessel remains uncovered during the 1970-1971 Fort Orange excavations in Albany, New York. Fort Orange was a colonial outpost established by the Dutch West India Trading Company on behalf of the United Provinces of the Dutch Republic in 1624. The fort served as an important trading post within the colony of New Netherland. Drinking vessels are studied in order to determine any traceable patterns of preference in form, decorative elements, or use. Vessels of note include roemers, berkemeiers, goblets, and varying forms using Venetian and Façon de Venise decorative techniques. The analysis is separated into four distinctive periods and makes comparisons across time, space, and other material types revealing that the Fort transitioned from a ‘place of trade’ into a ‘place of dwelling.’ The author argues that colonists had a relatively steady supply of drinkware over the roughly 40 or more years of the Fort’s existence and that the types of European glassware owned and used by the settlers were relatively stable. Trends in form and decorative elements also reveal possible patterns of trade and usage. Lastly, connections to the relative stability and success of the colony under Petrus Stuyvesant’s governance – along with the prosperity of the height of the Dutch Golden Age – are made to the growth in population of Fort Orange and its surrounding areas as well as the presence of these distinct glass drinking vessels with that of other contemporary sites in North America.