How Pipes Can Help Confirm The Identity Of A Damaged Vessel

1367 WordsMar 23, 20176 Pages
Pipes are often found at underwater archaeological sites and can provide valuable information, regardless of their condition. Broken pipes can provide similar information to those found still fully intact based on key features, as long as they are still preserved enough to identify. Based on such key features, the origins of pipes can be traced back to their manufacturers, determining both where they came from and the time period during which they were made. Because of this, pipes can be used to help confirm the identity of a wrecked ship; pipes may be from the same country as the wreck and be used as evidence to support claims of the origin of the ship, or from a different country or region entirely, indicating some form of trade or…show more content…
Also, with the ability to date these pipes, it can be possible to date the ship as well. By knowing the relative date and origin of the ship, and if the pipes can be related to historical documents, there is potential to positively identify the ship and support the claim. Mediterranean and Ottoman-style pipes are markedly different from their northern European counterparts, allowing for distinctions to be made between different pipe-making traditions. Pipe smoking, concerning tobacco in particular, was popular within the Balkans, and “evidence suggests that it may have been practiced as early as the end of the sixteenth century” (Batchvarov 3). Conversely, it has also been argued the English introduced tobacco smoking at the start of the seventeenth century (Batchvarov 3). Stub-stemmed or reed pipes were popular in this area, as the remains of many were found in harbors in the waters of Malta. This style of pipe is “commonly found in association with inhabited areas and trade routes across the Ottoman Empire” (Wood 315). Of these pipes originating from the Mediterranean that were discovered at a site in Dockyard Creek, Birgu, many had a keel joint between the bowl and shank, “a feature which begins in the late 17th-early 18th century” (Wood 317). Due to this feature, it is possible to roughly date these pipes, as they could not be from a time period

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