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The Study and Analysis of the Kaolin Clay Tobacco Pipe Collection from the Seventeenth-Century Archaeological Site of Port Royal, Jamaica

Georgia Lynne Fox
Dissertation: August 1998
Chair: Hamilton

The examination and analysis of the kaolin clay pipe collection from Port Royal, Jamaica, revealed several trends.  From a database of 21,575 pieces recovered from 1981-1990, 61 bowl types were identified and arranged in an expandable typology.  Thirty-nine makers' marks were also identified, many of them ascribed to Bristol pipemakers, where most of Port Royal's pipes were manufactured and exported.  Findings from the Bristol Port Books for 1682 and 1694-1695, and from entries listed in the Jamaica Probate Records verify that enormous quantities of clay pipes were being shipped to Port Royal.

The heavy concentrations of pipes found in Room 5, Building 1, and Room 2, Building 3, also support these findings and strongly suggest that both buildings had storage facilities which contained the current retail stock in pipes to be sold in the shops and taverns of Port Royal.

In applying Stanley South's model, the "Brunswick Pattern of adjacent secondary refuse disposal" to the yard areas at Port Royal, it was found that the accumulation of pipes and other artifacts in the yards reflects areas of multiple activities rather than the disposal behavior commonly associated with English colonial sites.

Applying Binford's straight-line regression formula to the Port Royal pipes resulted in date ranges close to the Port Royal earthquake.  A comparison of the Binford and Heighton/Deagan methods of formula dating also confirmed that the Binford method was more reliable, because Heighton/Deagan dates were consistently off by 20 years or more.

The Port Royal pipes also reflect other trends within the context of 17th-century English economy and society.  The desire for tobacco fueled a tobacco-growing economy in the Chesapeake colonies, which necessitated the manufacture of clay pipes in England.  The production of clay pipes also reflects pre-industrial manufacturing and consumerism fueled by English colonization and trade, which eventually propelled England into a position of dominance in the world system.  The desire for novel types of food and drink, as well as tobacco, resulted in the adoption of new customs and habits into English society, particularly in public institutions like the tavern.

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