400-Year-Old Personalized Pipes Found at Jamestown
Indian-English designs may bear earliest known printing in English America.
(Explore an interactive guide to colonial Jamestown in National Geographic magazine.)
"Finding these pipes has illuminated the complex political and social network in London that was behind the settlement," said William Kelso, director of archaeology for Historic Jamestowne, a public-private partnership that works to preserve and interpret the settlement site. (See a Jamestown map.)
The personalized clay pipes, which archaeologists say were probably made between 1608 and 1610, also provide new insights into Jamestown's early pipemaking industry.
The settlers' lives depended on pleasing the investors of the Virginia Company, which bankrolled and supplied struggling Jamestown. It may not be surprising, then, that among the eight names that can be seen on, or inferred from, the fragments are those