Archaeological Objects

“Investigating the Heart of a Community: Archaeological Excavations at the African Meeting House, Boston, Massachusetts.”

Cultural Resource Management Study No. 22

Figure 7.10

Andrew Fiske Memorial Center for Archaeological Research.

University of Massachusetts Boston, page 115.

University of Massachusetts Boston


Although turtle appears to have been something that added diversity to the diet rather than a staple, recipes for turtle soup and other dishes have been recovered. This snapping turtle femur has a cut mark on it, shown by the arrow, indicating that this turtle was butchered. The presence of this turtle bone could also be an indication of African American culinary traditions. According to “Investigating the Heart of a Community,” people caught turtles outside of the city during this time.

Questions to Consider

  1. Does your family have any food traditions that come from your culture or community?
  2. What kinds of foods are only enjoyed on special occasions today?

Related Articles

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.