Pipestem dating archaeology

Impressed into clay tobacco pipes are bits of data that have fueled endless research avenues since the earliest days of archaeology on historic sites excavated on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. This crowdsourced database focuses on just one bit the remains of the marks of the pipe maker or a preferred symbol permanently affixed to the product. One way ceramics are used to calculate the average date of a site’s occupation is to find a mean of all the midpoints of the periods of manufacture for the excavated ceramic sherds.The midpoints are weighted by the frequency of sherds of different types.

You wish to analyze these pipe stems to determine when your site was most heavily occupied. Match the most frequently occurring diameter with Harrington's bore diameter chart above.

Historical archeologists do not rely on pipe stem fragments as the only source for determining a site's history.

They also consider historical documents and other material culture recovered from the site—such as ceramics, glass, metal artifacts, faunal and botanical samples, and features—to determine its occupation and use.

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.

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