Kaolin pipe decoration dating archaeology
The relative size and shape of a pipe bowl or stem is also often an indicator of its age; earlier pipe bowls are smaller, and newer ones are larger.
The diameter of the hole in the pipe stem generally indicates the date the pipe was made.
These, no doubt served as a model for later pipe development. (see Walker, TD pipes, Bulletin of Archaeological Society of Virginia, Vol.
By 1558 tobacco smoking had been introduced to Europe.
There is three main categories that the artifacts fall under; pottery, bones and stone artifacts. An archeologist then uses artifacts that have been found to make a reconstruction the way people lived during that time period.
Archaeologists use two types of dating, relative and absolute.
The smoker would periodically break off pieces of the pipe stem as they wore down and eventually discard the whole pipe, including the bowl. For archaeologists, clay pipe stems and bowls can help “date” a layer or a feature at a dig.
Bowls and stems might be decorated with pictures or the maker’s or user’s initials, which could possibly be identified.
The Spanish had observed the Indians off Florida’s coastline smoking cigar-like rolled tobacco leaves in 1493 and had eventually adapted that form of smoking for themselves. Those inventive people decided they could make smoking devices for their personal use, which they did, and later made more to send back to the New World for trade and to sell. There is much unknown information about just when and where the first clay smoking pipes were molded in Europe and in America.In 1573, William Harrison wrote about molded pipes in his book GREAT ENGLISH CHRONOLOGIE.Relative dating is used to get an idea of when events took place or when certain items were made to put a more exact data on the artifact.Absolute dating is done later in the lab once everything is excavated.
My educated guess is that these pipes date to the late 19th century, but I’m hoping to have time in the future to do some more research into these pipe stems and bowls.