Archaeological Objects

ca. 1700s-1920s

Abiel Smith School Digital Catalog






Northeast Museum Services Center, National Park Service


Archaeologists at the Abiel Smith School found many marbles, including this selection of decorative marbles made out of glass, porcelain, or ceramics. Children likely brought these marbles with them to school so they could play a variety of games in their free time. Teachers may have also used marbles to help students learn arithmetic.*

*Information from “Abiel Smith School Digital Catalog” Northeast Museum Services Center, NPS


Questions to Consider

  1. What do these marbles tell us of the children who played with them?
  2. What insight do we gain from learning about students’ social life at the Abiel Smith School?
  3. If archaeologists conducted a dig around your school, what game pieces might they find?

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Smith Court Stories

Smith Court Stories is a collaborative project of the Museum of African American History and Boston African American National Historic Site – a unit of the National Parks of Boston.

The creators of Smith Court Stories acknowledge that Smith Court in Beacon Hill sits on the historical Massachusett tribe territories.