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18th-Century English Coffeehouse Cellar Excavated

Monday, December 18, 2017

Claphams coffee houseCAMBRIDGE, ENGLAND—The Guardian reports that a team of researchers from the Cambridge Archaeological Unit have excavated the cellar of Clapham’s Coffeehouse, which operated for nearly 40 years in the eighteenth century on land that is now part of St. John’s College. The archaeologists recovered more than 500 artifacts, including serving dishes, bottles, jugs, storage jars, and bowls. They also found an array of straight-sided cups for drinking coffee and tall cups for serving hot chocolate. The rise of tea as a popular drink is reflected in the discovery of 38 teapots and a large collection of tea bowls. Calf’s foot jelly would have been served in the 18 discarded jelly glasses. The bones of the calves’ feet were also found, along with the remains of beef, pork, hare, rabbit, chicken, goose, eel, oysters, herring, and mackerel, which were all presumably on the menu. Craig Cessford of the Cambridge Archaeological Unit said the assemblage could help archaeologists identify other coffeehouse sites in the future. To read about another recent discovery at St. John's College, go to “Artifact: Men's Buckle Shoe.

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