State of Alaska > Natural Resources > Parks and Outdoor Recreation > History and Archaeology
A fairly large collection of tobacco pipe fragments (n = 257) was recovered from Castle Hill. White ball clay fragments dominate the collection followed distantly by a small number of Turkish Chibouk clay bowls and only two stone, one horn and one bone pipe. Fragments of white ball clay pipes were found in virtually every unit at the site, while the Turkish pipes were mainly found within the walls of Building 1. Maker's marks and seals from European pipemakers were identified on some stems and bowls. Non-diagnostic elements include 125 stem pieces, 62 bowl fragments, 6 mouthpieces (5 unglazed, one glazed), one heel, one shank, and one unidentified fragment.
Turkish Chibouk pipe bowls were sometimes made of stone, wood or metal, but clay was the most common. Styles of Chibouk bowls are disk-based, rounded, or lily-shaped (Robinson 1985). All pipe bowls recovered from Castle Hill identified as Turkish are made from various types and colors of clay, and all are either rounded or disk-shaped. Robinson reports that rounded and disk-shaped bowls were common in the 18th and early 19th century, while lily-shaped bowls were introduced in the middle of the 19th century.
One mostly complete bowl and 11 fragments were found in 9 units, and one complete bowl (Figure 10.1) was found on the surface. The bowl from the surface is of reddish clay with a rounded faceted bowl and shank that flares to a scalloped termination. Rouletting outlines the keel, and a circular seal in the form of a flower is visible on the left side of the shank. On the right side of the shank is a manufacturer's mark that has the appearance of a circled "H." A row of upright double lines encircles the lower half of the bowl. A finely carved polished bone pipe stem (Figure 10.2) in the collection was probably associated with a Chibouk style pipe.
Two partial bowls were recovered in unit N97/E135. The first is rounded and has stamped oval designs that are separated by incised lines. The second is a partial bowl and rim made from yellowish clay with stamped palmettes in facets on the rim and combed crescents around the bowl. A bowl found in N101/E134 is similar in style to the second bowl from N97/E135, except it also has floral triangles in the panels of the rim. Both are the rounded style. A Chibouk pipe similar to those described above was recovered from the circa mid-19th century Russian hospital trash pit in Sitka, excavated by Blee (1986:166-167).
Two pipe fragments were excavated from N101/E135. The first is a partial rounded Turkish style bowl with a polished black surface (Figure 10.3). Combed crescents surround the bowl, and there is a stamped circular seal on the right side of the shank. There appears to be writing or letters inside the seal. The second fragment is a partial faceted shank made of red clay. It has a scalloped termination and a stamped seal near the termination.
The pipe found in unit N102/E139 is made from reddish clay with a bowl that is compressed to a wide disk (Figure 10.4). The foot beneath the disk is flat and squared with four incised lines across it. The disk has incised lines around the edge and is decorated with gold paint. Two small fragments recovered in the adjacent unit N102/E140 can be refit to the bowl. Figure 10.5 illustrates assembled Chibouk pipes with characteristic mouthpieces attached to long stems.
A partial rounded bowl with shank made from reddish clay was found in unit N100/E141 and is similar to one described in Robinson's 1985 Hesperia article. It has a heavy faceted shank flaring to scalloped termination. Pendant palmettes are present between the tops of the bowl panels and are surmounted by floral lozenges in the rim facets. There is a pendent oval at the top of each panel, and rouletting outlines the keel. In addition, two semicircular seals are visible on the left bottom portion of the shank on the panel. The N102/E139 and N100/E141 pipes were common styles during the first half of the nineteenth century, and both types have been found frequently in Russia (R. Robinson to D. McMahan, letter, 15 January 1999).
Small shank fragments were found in units N97//E136, N98/E139, and N107/E137. They are made of red clay and faceted with a scalloped termination. Two other fragments were recovered from different units that may be Turkish, but further examination is needed for positive identification.
All of the Turkish pipes recovered, except the one found on the surface, and one small shank fragment from N107/E137 were recovered from the interior of Building 1, which has been interpreted as quarters for the shop workers. Based on mean ceramic dates, Building 1 is the third oldest structure in the workshop area.
Stone, Horn and Bone Pipes
The two stone pipes are shank fragments. One has simple raised lines in a "V" shape that terminate at the bottom of the shank. The top of the shank has two parallel raised lines with a groove in the center. The second stone shank has a slightly flared termination with a flat surface and is undecorated. The partial bowl and shank made of horn is polished but undecorated. A finely carved polished bone pipe stem with visible human teeth marks on the rounded mouthpiece was also recovered. None of the fragments described bears a maker's mark or seal.
White ball clay pipes
T.D. Pipes: One complete and two partial bowls are stamped with the letters T.D. at the rear of the bowl, facing the smoker. The complete bowl has clearly impressed letters along with the raised number 42 on the left side of the heel, and the mold lines are trimmed. The letters T.D. on the partial bowls are poorly stamped and neither is marked with additional numbers. T.D. pipes first appeared ca. 1755 (Walker 1972), named after pipemaker Thomas Dormer. T.D. pipes became so popular for their design that by the nineteenth century they were "produced by numerous pipemakers in a multitude of variations" (De Vore 1993: 33). T.D. pipes eventually came to stand for a generic style of pipe and not for the pipemaker. The pipe bowls recovered from Castle Hill are most likely variations of the original T.D. pipe. Some are similar in style to the original, but display different letters or numbers on the bowls and heels. One bowl has the letters W.G. stamped on the rear of the bowl instead of T.D. It also has a "W" on the left side of the heel and a "G" on the right side. The W.G. versions, according to Walker (1972:37), "are possibly slightly later than the others - their earliest occurrence appears to be on American Revolutionary War sites - but they are perhaps the most common, and in derived forms certainly the longest lasting&". Walker also reports that the W.G. version "continued with steadily - degenerating decorative motifs to ca. 1830" (1972:37). Another version of the T.D. pipe that was recovered is a bowl fragment with the raised and clearly visible number 25 on the left side of the heel. Another bowl fragment has poorly molded numbers, also on the left side of the heel, which appears to be either a 58 or an 85. In addition, there are two other bowl fragments that both have the raised letter L on the right side of the heel and the raised letter I on the right side.
McDougall/Glasgow Pipes: Five pipe stem fragments that were excavated bear the Scottish McDougall/Glasgow maker's mark. Three different styles were identified. One stem has impressed lettering with McDougall on one side and Glasgow on the reverse side. The lettering is surrounded by a decorative braided rectangle with looped ends. Two stems bear the McDougall/Glasgow maker's mark with impressed serif lettering and are otherwise undecorated. Two stems are McDougall/Woodstock pipes. One stem fragment bears the word "Wood", and another stem fragment, with an intact shaved mouthpiece, has the word "Woodstock". The letters on both stems are raised rather than impressed. Walker (1972) reports that McDougall is known to have produced pipes with the maker's name on the left side of the stem and the name of the pipe type on the other side.
One McDougall pipe bowl was identified in the Castle Hill collection. It has a fluting decoration that covers most of the lower bowl. The upper half has a simple scrollwork design. The pipe is identical to one Humphrey (1969) describes in "Clay Pipes from Old Sacramento." Humphrey's specimen is virtually complete with the McDougall/Glasgow name on the stem. The Castle Hill specimen lacks the stem and maker's mark.
T. Holland Pipes: One pipe stem with an intact mouthpiece was recovered that has the letters T. Holland surrounded by a braided decoration on the left side and No. 188 on the right side. The mouthpiece is unglazed. This is the only one of this type found at the site.
Many fragments of pipes recovered at Castle Hill require further examination for positive identification. One pipe bowl fragment made of reddish clay is unusually decorated with a smooth tear drop design surrounded by tiny raised circles. There is no visible seal or mark by which to date it or identify the maker. A partial bowl with rim fragment bears a sun decoration with a "smiley" face, but no other distinguishing marks. Another small bowl fragment might be part of a figurehead bowl, but no face is present. A decoration on the fragment appears to represent hair. Two pipe bowls have scalloped decorations with raised dots or knobs. The heel and stem are absent on both specimens.
Last updated on Wednesday, October 2, 2013.
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