Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Historical Archaeology

First Advisor

Stephen W. Silliman

Second Advisor

Douglas J. Bolender

Third Advisor

Nedra K. Lee


This thesis examines indigenous smoking practices using European white ball clay pipe disposal patterns on the Eastern Pequot reservation in North Stonington, Connecticut. The Eastern Pequot used European-made smoking pipes in their day-to-day life during the 18th and 19th centuries. Material and spatial analyses of pipes and their disposal patterns detail how Eastern Pequot smoking practices changed and continued in the North American colonial world.

Smoking and tobacco use are unique in North American colonialism as the practice originates with the continent’s Indigenous people and was transformed by the English. Questions around cultural change and continuity in smoking due to colonialism have yet to be answered on any Eastern Pequot sites. The four Eastern Pequot dwelling sites studied here explored these questions through tobacco pipe material and spatial analysis. All four sites date between the late 1700s and early 1800s and permit a discussion about a community’s smoking practices within a 50-year period. From these assemblages, the data were investigated in tandem with a historical narrative from ancient smoking and tobacco use in North America to 21st-century smoking culture with approaches to cultural change/continuity. These approaches allow for an informed discussion of indigenous smoking practices in a colonial context. The results from this study show that individuals frequently smoked within their home more than anywhere else on the sites. Such spatial and material patterns shed light on the Eastern Pequot community smoking practices, and how they continued their culture during colonialism as they changed to stay the same.