Date of Award

Fall 12-17-2014

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Jeffrey B. Glover

Second Advisor

Jennifer Patico

Third Advisor

Katherine Hankins


From the excavation of Atlanta's first municipal dumps, a collection of the city’s oldest and most popular medicines has been analyzed. The process of identifying and exploring the stories behind the medicinal vessels of the Metro Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) archaeological collection has led to several paths of inquiry. One such avenue is a look at local manufacturers, their impact, and their products.

Focused on embossed glass bottles from 1860-1920 this thesis investigates the roles of medicinal bottles as symbolic for Atlanta’s Gilded Age. I gathered detailed information on nearly 100 products represented by 222 vessels. These artifacts are derived from three sites unearthed during the MARTA excavations conducted by Georgia State University archaeologists during the late-1970s. Each site represents an urban dump in a different way: core, periphery, and neighborhood. Beyond analyzing the vessels, special attention is given to the economic connections between Atlanta’s growth and medicine producers.


Cook_D_L_Thesis_MBotFGA.xlsx (41 kB)
Data Spreadsheet for Medicinal Vessels