Dating colonial pipes

An example is seen in Isert’s tale of meeting the ruling chiefs at Ada, where two individuals are depicted smoking long stemmed pipes while seated in the middle of a palaver (Isert in Winsness1992: 46).Chiefs and other dignitaries are also portrayed holding tobacco pipes in Bowdich’s famous artistic rendition of greeting the Asantehene in Kumasi (Bowdich 1966[1819]).Tobacco pipes are some of the most decorative and temporally diagnostic artifacts found on Iron Age sites in Ghana.The temporally sensitive nature of these items is demonstrated by the success of the initial pipe seriation Ozanne developed over forty years ago.Although it was developed specifically for the greater Accra region, Ozanne did allow that in time the results may be applied to less-known areas of Ghana as more data came to light.He confidently postulated that the other regions of the country were strongly influenced by the development of smoking pipes in the Accra area, particularly in the period circa 1660-1690, and that the practice of smoking was transferred inland from southeastern Ghana (Ozanne 1966: 48).Ball clay was largely used in England, which was a major exporter in the mid-19th century.

Il y a une quarantaine d’année, Paul Ozanne démontrait la sensibilité chronologique de ces pipes de fabrication locale en développant un modèle de sériation qui est toujours utilisé comme méthode de datation des dépôts archéologiques sur tout le territoire ghanéen.These pipes are stylistically the same as those found in archaeological excavations.By the end of the nineteenth century tobacco pipes became an attractive cultural curio for travellers to collect (see Freeman 1967 [1898]), and numerous tobacco pipes were brought back for display in museum collections across Europe (see Coombes 1994: 153 – note that these are wrongly identified to be from East Africa in the text; rather they are clearly Asante pipes, Rohrer 1946, Valentin 1976).An analysis of the assemblage from the well stratified site of Dawu lead Thurston Shaw to make the first attempt at defining a pipe typology and establishing a seriation for the site, although he noted “no such classification or development was immediately apparent” (Shaw 1961: 11).Not to be deterred by these results, Ozanne examined the large collections the Department of Archaeology and the National Museum of Ghana had acquired, numbering between fifteen hundred and two thousand pipes.

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