Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Clearly Established?

On Sunday, I posted an excerpt from Barry Kent's "Susquehanna's Indians." In the excerpt, Kent says that the Susquehannock presence at the Piscataway fort was "clearly established" by archaeology. Later on in the same book he has this to say:

"One typical tulip pipe was found at the Piscataway fort and is in fact the only real archaeological evidence for identifying the Susquehannock occupation of that site in 1676 (Stephenson et al. 1963:137-38)." (147)

These tulip pipes are clay smoking pipes that appear to be a melding of earlier Susquehannock styles with the colonial styles of the time. An interesting artifact in deed, but does one pipe clearly establish anything? In this case the researchers had the benefit of archival records that suggested the Susquehannock occupation. Otherwise, I would be quite skeptical. (psst...don't tell anyone but I am still skeptical)



Dancing Willow said...

Can you post pictures of both these types of pipes for comparison?

April M. Beisaw said...

I am all packed up for my move to Harrisburg right now. I'll get some pics up when I can access my books again.