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These ‘How To…’ pages are designed to provide a first point of reference for anyone dealing with archaeological projects involving pipes, whether this be planning archaeological fieldwork, collecting, analysing, cataloguing and curating pipes or carrying out specific research projects on them.  These guidelines have been written with particular reference to British pipes but the same principles are widely applicable to assemblages from most other parts of the world.  Each section is intended to provide an overview of the topic, with general advice and pointers as to where more detailed guidance or resources can be found.

So, what is it you want to know "how to" do?

...excavate pipes Here you will find details on the best practise for excavating pipes as well as advice on planning, spatial distribution and finds recovery

...clean pipes Find out what the best method of cleaning and labelling your pipe is, as well as advice on the post-excavation work. pipes Here you will find out how to date your pipes including information on stem bores, and bowl form typologies.

...identify a maker Who made your pipe? On these pages you will find help on how to identify the possible maker by looking at heel, stem or bowl stamps as well as moulded marks.

...record pipes Here you will find details on the best practise for the recording of your pipes using sytems approved by the Archive. This will give guidance and advise on all aspects of your pipe assemblags from the how to count the fragments and identifying the fabric; to how to deal with all the features of a pipe such as burnish, internal bowl crosses and rim finish, right through to the preparation of a context summary. 

...illustrate pipes What is the best method of illustrating your pipe? These pages will offer guidance for photographs and line illustrations.

...write a pipe report These pages will give you help with regard to standard terminology as well as guidance as to what is helpful to publish. It will help you to decide how to look at issues such as manufacturing techniques, but also the issue of social status and trade patterns that your pipes might be able to address.

...curate pipes Here you will find details on the best practise for the retention and curation of your pipes.

The pages are designed to enable non-specialists to undertake basic work themselves while at the same time gaining experience within broad guidelines as to ‘best practice’.  They are also designed to encourage common standards amongst specialists and to enable archaeological curators and managers to assess the scope and quality of any given pipe report.  While these pages have been prepared to deal specifically with pipes, the same professional standards for dealing with pottery from archaeological projects are also applicable and should be referred to as well (Barclay et al 2016)

A glossary has been prepared to explain the terms and abbreviations most frequently encountered in specialist literature dealing with pipes.


These pages HE logo

How to...

...excavate pipes

...clean pipes pipes

...identify a maker

...record pipes

...illustrate pipes

...write a pipe report

...curate pipes


Pipe Glossary

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