Buried Bottles of Cherries Discovered at George Washington’s Mount Vernon

Archaeologists at George Washington’s Mount Vernon estate have unearthed a remarkable find: 35 glass bottles filled with preserved cherries, adding to the two bottles discovered in April.

This discovery, announced by Mount Vernon officials on Thursday, has astonished historians and archaeologists alike.

“Never in our wildest dreams did we imagine this spectacular archaeological discovery,” said Doug Bradburn, President of Mount Vernon.

The bottles, buried for about 250 years, were found in five storage pits in the mansion’s cellar. Of the 35 bottles, 29 remained intact, showcasing the expertise of the enslaved people who managed food preparations on the estate. As covered and confirmed by the sources Yahoo

The cherries, including gooseberries and currants, provide a glimpse into 18th-century plantation foodways and the origins of American cuisine.

Mount Vernon officials highlighted the role of enslaved individuals, like Doll, the cook brought by Martha Washington, who played a significant part in the estate’s kitchen operations.

The preserved fruit, pits, and pulp found in the bottles offer an “incredibly rare opportunity” to study the period’s environment and culinary practices, according to Jason Boroughs, principal archaeologist at Mount Vernon.

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Analysis revealed 54 cherry pits and 23 neatly cut stems, indicating careful preparation before bottling.

Researchers are optimistic about the potential for DNA extraction and possible germination from the pits, further enhancing our understanding of historical food preservation techniques.

This find not only sheds light on the daily lives and skills of those who lived and worked at Mount Vernon but also enriches our knowledge of early American history and its culinary heritage.

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