Residue Analysis of Archaeological Smoking Pipes from the Southeastern US

Author(s): Ryan Hunt; Jon Russ; Stephen Carmody

Year: 2016


Chemical analyses of organic residues from smoking pipes excavated from archaeological sites in the southeastern United States provide insight into ritualistic smoking traditions of indigenous peoples. This study examined residues scraped from pipes and pipe sherds in collections at the Fernbank Museum of Natural History in Atlanta, Georgia, and the McClung Museum of Natural History and Culture in Knoxville, Tennessee. One of the primary goals was to determine whether nicotine was present in the residue, thereby expanding our knowledge of when and where tobacco was first used in the southeast. For the analyses, residues were extracted by ultrasonicating the samples in methanol/chloroform. An aliquot of the extracts were analyzed directly using GC-MS and GC-FID; another aliquot was derivatized using BSFTA with 1% TMCS and also analyzed using GC-MS and GC-FID. While nicotine was present in only two of the residues studied, the results suggest a complex and diverse tradition in which smoking pipes were used to smoke a wide array of natural materials.

Cite this Record

Residue Analysis of Archaeological Smoking Pipes from the Southeastern US. Ryan Hunt, Jon Russ, Stephen Carmody. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 404550)

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Spatial Coverage

min long: -91.274; min lat: 24.847 ; max long: -72.642; max lat: 36.386 ;