Silver Ewer Spout from the Nuestra Senora de Atocha, Tag #85556
By James Sinclair, MA
Senior Archaeologist for Motivation, Inc
What is an Ewer?
Recently, the crew of the Dare recovered the spout of a silver ewer. So, the basic question these days would be, just what is a “ewer” and why does it have a spout? Simply put, a ewer is a pitcher of a relatively small size. The word “ewer” itself is derived from French and Middle English out of the Greek word for water-bearing, or “Aquarius.” Ewer is not a word that is used much anymore. In fact, the Spanish had their own term for this sort of vessel “jarro de pico.” In English that literally translates to “beaked jug” though the term ewer is used by many of the English-speaking silver experts. Ewers were used for serving water. However, in at least one context it was not for drinking.