Tobacco, Pipes, and Race in Colonial Virginia investigates the economic and social power that surrounded the production and use of tobacco pipes in colonial Virginia and the difficulty of correlating objects with cultural identities. A common artifact in colonial period sites, previous publications on this subject have focused on the decorations on the pipes or which ethnic group produced and used the pipes, “European,” “African,” or “Indian.” This book weaves together new interpretations, analytical techniques, classification schemes, historical background, and archaeological methods and theory. Special attention is paid to the subfield of African diaspora research to display the complexities of understanding this class of material culture. This fascinating study is accessible to the undergraduate reader, as well as to graduate students and scholars.
*Outstanding Academic Title of 2015*
"In describing what can typically be considered a tedious and rather monotonous aspect of the archaeological process, Agbe-Davies’s cataloging and classification analysis of Colonial tobacco pipes is quite fascinating and groundbreaking. From excavation to the lab, the author's theory of race, history, and ethnography of the people who used the pipes is compelling and thoughtful. Agbe-Davies combines her own personal thoughts and experiences within the narrative to give readers a glimpse of the actual process of cataloging and classification as well as the formal analysis, making her book almost ethnographic in nature. For those with experience working in the lab, her insights are quite funny and easily identifiable. The author sets a new and impressive standard for classification and cataloging analysis that goes beyond mere data entry and storing of artifacts for later use. Summing Up: Essential."
- K. C. McCallister, Appalachian State University, CHOICE Review