Santa Clara University

Collections/Online Gallery

The Archaeology Research Lab has collected literally thousands of artifacts in its 8 year history. To view some of our favorite artifacts, click on the links below:


This near-complete ladrillo (or "floor tile") was found on University property in the early 1990s. This ladrillo was one of the floor tiles for the fifth Mission's quadrangle.

Adobe Brick

This is an actual adobe brick that was used to construct the fifth Mission's quadrangle. During an archaeological dig that took place on campus in the early 1990s, over 75 complete adobe bricks (like the one seen here) were recovered and are currently being housed at the Archaeology Research Lab. Statistical analyses on the 75 or so complete bricks have shown that all of the bricks are almost exactly the same as one another (within a 15% margin of error).

Foundation Stone

This sandstone foundation stone was found on campus during the fall of 2001. All of the old mission buildings had footings that were constructed with large sandstone cobbles (much like the one seen here). The adobe walls were then built on top of the sandstone footings for support. Being that we have this basic knowledge of Mission era construction techniques, whenever we find a long row of sandstone cobbles in the field, we can quickly discern that we have located a mission-period foundation.


This pulley is one of the more interesting artifacts that have been found on campus. Discovered during a construction project in the fall of 2001, we believe that this was one of the large hoisting pulleys that would have been used at the Eberhard Tannery, which was located at the south end of campus. The tannery was extremely successful and employed most of the city of Santa Clara at its peak. The pulley weighs over 55 lbs.

Large Crock

This large food storage crock (or container) was found on campus during an archaeological survey. Although the crock was found in pieces, almost all of it was recovered and staff members at the Archaeology Research Lab were then able to re-construct the vessel.

Santa Clara College Button

This brass button is a part of the Metal Type Collection at the Archaeology Research Lab. The front side of the button (as see in the photograph) has the Jesuit symbol of the shield, the letters "IHS" and the eagle, while along the bottom are the words "S.C. College 1851." The back of the button has the words "Waterbury Button Co" stamped on it. After contacting the Sales Manager at the Waterbury Button Company in Waterbury, Connecticut (which still exists today), it turns out that the stamp to create this design was made in 1888, and production for this button would only have lasted at most until 1912- the year when Santa Clara College officially became Santa Clara University. By researching the makers of different artifacts, we can learn a lot about an artifact's history and date range.

Trumpet Finished Bottle

This green trumpet-finished bottle was found during archaeological pre-testing. The term "finished" refers to the design of the neck and lip of a bottle. Different styles of bottle finishes are typical for different time periods, which make the examination of bottle finishes very diagnostic when dating an archaeological site (and the bottle itself). This particular bottle also has a concave base, which is typical of old food storage bottles.

Peppersauce Bottle

This aqua glass, square ring peppersauce bottle was found on campus during a construction project several years back. The bottle has a French-square base and along the bottom of the bottle are the words: "C.C.O PAT SEP. 28 1875."

Italian Wine Bottle

This Italian wine bottle was found on campus during archaeological pre-testing. The wine bottle has the maker’s mark"Bisleri-China-Ferro" written just below the neck of the bottle and near the base, the word "Milano" can be easily read as well.

Gin Bottle

This gin bottle was found on University property during archaeological pre-testing. Around the top of bottle are the words "Hartwig Kantorowicz." In the center of the bottle are the words "Posen, Hamburg, Paris."

To view more artifacts, please come visit the lab or click on our "Exhibits" button to find out where some of our permanent and semi-permanent exhibits are on campus.