Fragments of the stem of a tobacco pipe, ball clay-white.

Complete pipe: Bag 1131, Item 21

Smoking tobacco became popular world-wide during the Age of Exploration (1400s to 1600s). The way an individual consumed tobacco may have represented their socio-economic status. For example, snuffing (to inhale through the nose) was considered an elite practice, whereas smoking and chewing were considered lower-status. As production of tobacco continued to increase, tobacco pipes became less expensive and were discarded when broken. For this reason, pieces of tobacco pipes are common artifacts because the material has weathered well over the years.