Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Native American Pipe Bowl

When I attended the genealogical society meeting in Avon (on Hatteras Island) last week, I had an opportunity to speak with Andy Powell (see Saturday's post) about his excavations on Hatteras. One of his discoveries was that Native Americans had been living on, or frequenting, the Outer Banks for about 9,000 years.

I told him about a pipe bowl I discovered in the water along the shore at Springer's Point a number of years ago. I sent him this photo a couple of days ago:

(Click on the photo to view a larger image.)

In his reply he said this American Indian pipe bowl is similar to others that were found on Hatteras, and they are believed to have been used for ceremonial or "medicinal" purposes. Andy is interested in doing some archaeological digs on Ocracoke on a future visit to the states.

If you live on the island, or own property here, and would be interested in having an expert conduct small auger tests please let me know and I will pass this information along.

Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is a list of traditional island remedies. You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news032111.htm.


  1. If you happened to read this post earlier this morning you may have noticed that I typed 900 when I meant to type 9,000. Just wanted to set the record straight. I have edited the post.

  2. Anonymous12:09 PM

    Do you know the approximate age of your artifact?

  3. The expert who looked at the photo did not offer an approximate date. I will ask him again.

  4. Anonymous5:59 PM

    What exactly is an augur test? And if he discovers Blackbeard's treasure in my yard, who gets to keep it?

  5. This is the answer from Andy about the auger test: "Our plan would be to conduct some small auger tests (this is a hand-driven auger that goes to a depth of about 3ft and creates a small hole of about 6" wide.) These tests help to build up a profile of a potential site and aid the location of the most likely productive test pit location within the test site (these pits are usually about 6ft x 6ft) We anticipate returning around Easter again next year. If you can locate a site I will send you the 'official' permission slip from the University. (This essentially ensures that any finds remain the property of the landowner, but also gives them the option to have the finds displayed at a local museum either on a loan basis or by donation.)"