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It is now clear that the two main structures uncovered at Cupids to date are the remains of the dwelling house and store house built by John Guy's party and finished by about December 1, 1610. As such, they are two of the oldest European buildings in North America. There is considerable evidence to support this. They are located exactly where the documents say they should be and the type of construction matches Guy's description and is similar to buildings erected in England during the late sixteenth and early seventeenth-centuries. However, by far the most convincing evidence comes from the objects found in association with these buildings.

As archaeologists dig down through the layers that have built up on a site, they are literally digging back through time. As each layer is peeled away it reveals yet another, earlier chapter in the history of the site. Only those items recovered from the deepest levels can tell us when the occupation began. When we look at the objects recovered from the deepest deposits at Cupids, it soon becomes clear that we are looking at a site that began very early in the seventeenth century.

Among the artifacts recovered were fragments from at least two Werra Slipware vessels manufactured in Germany between 1590 and 1625; shards from several North Italian Sgraffito vessels made between 1575 and 1625, probably in Pisa; a tin-glazed apothecary jar made sometime between 1580 and 1640; clay tobacco pipes manufactured in London between 1590 and 1610; fragments of a Raeren jug made in Belgium around 1600; a well worn James I silver tuppence minted in either 1603 or 1604; and an Elizabethan silver four pence (or groat) minted between December 1560 and October 1561.

Over 600 glass beads, generally referred to as trade beads, have also been recovered from the site. These beads are significant because we know that the colonists at Cupers Cove were making a concerted effort to establish a fur trade with the Beothuk Indians who lived 18 miles to the west in Trinity Bay. Documents survive requesting that such beads be sent to the colony. For example, in the winter of 1619/1620 Thomas Rowley asked that "hatchets, looking glasses, beads, a drum and shoemakers' thread" be sent to Cupids Cove as "truck" for the Native people.

Perhaps even more significant than the glass beads is an amber bead found just north of the storehouse. John Guy mentions in his journal that he had amber beads and that he carried some with him on his voyage into Trinity Bay in 1612. Such beads are extremely rare on archaeological sites and, while we may never know for certain, it is possible that this is one of the amber beads mentioned by Guy.

Just west of the storehouse we found two strands of silver thread. In the early seventeenth-century such threads were sometimes used to embellished the clothing of the upper classes. However, the use of such refinements was strictly controlled and English sumptuary laws made their use illegal for anyone below a certain status. A law passed in Massachusetts in 1651 forbade anyone worth less than 200 pounds - a fortune at the time - to wear such threads in their clothing. Clearly the silver threads found at Cupids must have come from the clothing of someone of considerable standing, possibly John Guy or the colony's second governor, John Mason.

Images (left to right, top to bottom) 1. Artist's depiction of the dwelling house and store house at Cupids as they may have looked in the fall of 1612. Hilary Cass, 2004. 2. A crew member holds a "little ladell" pipe made in London between 1590 and 1610 and found just west of the dwelling house. 3. Uncovering the burnt floor joists at the north end of the dwelling house. 4. A fragment of a Werra Slipware dish, Germany 1590 - 1625. 5. Elizabethan silver four pence minted between December 1560 and October 1561. 6. Detail from a Raeren jug made in Belgium, circa 1600, and found northeast of the dwelling house. 7. James I silver tuppence minted in either 1603 or 1604. 8. Tin-glazed apothecary jar, 1580-1640 (photo by John Bourne). 9. Four blue chevron trade beads found in and around the dwelling house. 10. Amber bead found just north of the store house. 11. Silver threads found east of the store house. 12. Artist's depiction of the interior of the dwelling house at Cupids as it may have appeared in the fall of 1612. Hilary Cass, 2006.