First Advisor

Kenneth M. Ames

Date of Publication

Spring 6-20-2013

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.) in Anthropology






Smoking -- Social aspects -- Washington (State) -- Fort Vancouver National Historic Site -- History, Clay tobacco pipes -- Washington (State) -- Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, Excavations (Archaeology) -- Washington (State) -- Fort Vancouver National Historic Site



Physical Description

1 online resource (vii, 138 pages)


This thesis represents one of the first systematic, detailed spatial analyses of artifacts at the mid-19th century Hudson's Bay Company's Fort Vancouver Village site, and of clay tobacco pipe fragments in general. Historical documents emphasize the multi-cultural nature of the Village, but archaeologically there appears to be little evidence of ethnicity (Kardas 1971; Chance and Chance 1976; Thomas and Hibbs 1984:723). Following recent approaches to cultural interaction in which researchers examined the nuanced uses of material culture (Lightfoot et al 1998; Martindale 2009; Voss 2008); this study analyzed the spatial distribution of tobacco pipe fragments for behavioral information through a practice theory approach (Bourdieu 1977; Ortner 2006). The analysis aimed to determine the role of tobacco smoking in the Village. It evaluated tobacco smoking as a significant and social behavior, the visibility of maintenance behaviors in the clay pipe distributions, and evidence of ethnic variation in tobacco consumption.

Spatial patterning characteristics were compiled from the few behavioral studies of clay pipe fragments (Davies 2011; Fox 1998: Hamilton 1990; Hartnett 2004; Hoffman and Ross 1973, 1974; King and Miller 1987), and indications of ethnic specific behaviors from archaeological and historical evidence (Burley et al 1992; Jacobs 1958; Jameson 2007). Distributional maps examined three pipe assemblage characteristics: fragment frequency, use wear fragment frequency, and the bowl to stem fragment ratio, to define smoking locations on the Village landscape. Visibility of maintenance and refuse disposal behaviors in the size distribution of fragments was measured through the Artifact Size Index (ASI) (Bon Harper and McReynolds 2011). This analysis also tested two possible indications of ethnic variation: differential use of stone vs. clay pipes, and consumption rates as reflected through clay pipe assemblages.

The commonality of tobacco smoking locations across the landscape suggests a significant, social, and shared practice between households. Analysis of maintenance behaviors and ethnic variation proved inconclusive. This study demonstrates the value of spatially analyzing clay pipe fragment distributions for behavioral information. The insight gained from examining multiple spatial patterns suggests future studies can benefit from analyzing the spatial distribution of diagnostic characteristics of pipes and other artifact types.


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