Pipes of Long Swamp: Examining the Native American Pipes from the Lamar and Mary Fowler Holcomb Collection
Date of Award
Bachelor of Arts (BA)
Dr. Jeffrey Glover
Introduction: In 2014,Lamar and Mary Fowler Holcomb donated a collection of artifacts from the Native American site of Long Swamp to the Cherokee County Historical Society. Holcomb property is on land associated with the Long Swamp site (9CK1), which has allowed the two to gather artifacts from the site throughout the years. The rest of 9CK1 is on the opposite side of SR372. Edwards Pitman Environmental Inc. (EPEI), a local archaeological firm, was contacted in 2007 to investigate 9CK1 on public land, due to damage resulting from an extension of SR372. The archaeologists recovered artifacts in association with Long Swamp. In contrast to the excavation conducted by EPEI, the Holcomb maintained a minimal record of the artifacts they collected, voiding most of context associated with each artifact. Without contextual information, I rely on stylistic variables and to type the pipes. To do this, I compare the pipes from the donated collection to the other materials from Long Swamp and other archaeological sites in Georgia to ascertain the typology and chronology of the artifacts from the Holcomb Collection.
Methods: The collection contains sixty-six pipes and pipe fragments. These pipes were measured with plastic, dial calipers, 150 mm/0.0254 mm. Weights were taken using a scale, max weight, 200 g. The pipes were photographed using a Nikon DX AF-S 18-55mm 1:3.5-5.6g D 5.100. Analysis also included a literature review and the investigation of pipes from archaeological collections housed at the University of Georgia, Athens and the University of West Georgia.
Results: My analysis resulted in the creation of a typology for the pipes in the collection. Although none of the clay for the pipes was sourced, a cursory study of the different pipes suggests that multiple types of clay were used. Some of the more overt variations among pipe structures are the ratios between height and weight. These variations could indicate different craftsman, throughout time.
Conclusion: The Lamar and Mary Fowler Holcomb Collection is the result of several years of collecting. The pipes within the collection appear to span several occupational phases of the Long Swamp site. This supports the findings of the previous research conducted at the site. However, with little contextual support, this can only be inferred based on stylistic attributes that can be compared to the materials from other collections. Further research into sourcing the clay for the pipes may prove useful to learn more about this collection.
Carmody, Danielle, "Pipes of Long Swamp: Examining the Native American Pipes from the Lamar and Mary Fowler Holcomb Collection." Thesis, Georgia State University, 2016.