Jessica Spratley can see the humans behind the shard of clay pottery — a small, triangular handle worked by hand into a curved rim; a sand-colored background streaked by blooms of dull pink, evidence of a pit-firing long ago.

Others might see the palm-sized piece as insignificant debris. But it is part of a bowl created hundreds of years ago that now offers a glimpse into the lives of people who once made a life, and a living, in what is now the South Newtown Road area of Norfolk.