Most pottery uncovered during excavations is in fragments. If archaeologists find multiple pieces of the same pot, they can reconstruct the vessel by filling in missing areas with plaster or putty.


Spanish Pitcher (reconstruction)
From Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Dates to AD 1550–1630


Historical Archaeology


This Santo Domingo Blue-on-White majolica pitcher dates to the late 16th to early 17th centuries. It was found in the Dominican Republic. Most of the pottery archaeologists find during excavations is very fragmentary. Fortunately, during excavations numerous fragments of this particular pitcher were found and archaeologists and ceramic technologists worked together to reconstruct the vessel. Plaster was used to fill in the missing pieces to complete the vessel, allowing scientists and Museum visitors a chance to view this beautiful piece of history.

Gifford Waters
Collection Manager, Historical Archaeology*
Florida Museum of Natural History


On display Sept. 23, 2017-Jan. 7, 2018, Rare, Beautiful & Fascinating: 100 Years @FloridaMuseum celebrated the Museum’s rich history. Each Museum collection was asked to contribute its most interesting items and share the stories that make them special. Though the physical exhibit is closed, this companion website remains online, providing an opportunity to experience the Florida Museum’s most treasured specimens.

Exhibit Area: Working Lab

Theme: Preservation and Preparation

Cover of the All Things Beautiful bookWant to see more? Explore more than 300 breathtaking color photos of plants, animals, fossils and cultural heritage materials from the Florida Museum of Natural History’s collections in the award-winning book All Things Beautiful available from the University Press of Florida.

*This title was accurate at the time the exhibit was on display in 2017. Please visit the collection website to verify current staff and student information.

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