Double Chesapeake Pipe Bowl

Chesapeake pipe with Native decorative motif, ca. 1608-1710

Multiple Narratives: Introduction

Archaeologists face the challenge of understanding objects whose makers and users are no longer alive to explain their function and meaning. Consulting with maps, historic documents, oral histories from descendant communities, ethnographies, and similar archaeological discoveries is essential to making sense of the material culture, but the interweaving of such varied information and viewpoints often creates--for a single object or group of objects--multiple explanations and multiple meanings.