In: Journal of African Archaeology
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  • 1 Department of Anthropology, MS 20 Rice University
  • 2 Museum of Anthropology University of Michigan
  • 3 Department of Anthropology, MS 20 Rice University

Tobacco pipes are among the most frequently recorded artifacts from historic period sites in West Africa, and can be used to both establish tight chronologies and address issues of social and economic change.This paper is a discussion of the 300-year sequence of tobacco pipes recovered from excavations at Jenne, Mali in 1999. The assemblage, which includes over 300 fragments, is first placed in its historical and archaeological context. The pipes are fully described using a multivariate approach, and the results illustrate a clear sequence. Following a reassessment of Daget & Ligers’ previously proposed pipe chronology for the Inland Niger Delta, the pipes are analyzed using two primary frames of reference. On a broad regional scale, the assemblage is compared with those from sites throughout West Africa, while on the local level possible motivations for the types of changes seen in the assemblage are discussed.

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