400-Year-Old Personalized Pipes Found at Jamestown





Bearing perhaps the earliest printing in English America, fragments of 400-year-old personalized pipes have been found at Virginia's Jamestown, the first permanent English settlement in the New World, archaeologists say.

Stamped with the names of Sir Walter Raleigh and other eminent men back in England, the pipes may have been intended to impress investors—underscoring Jamestown's fundamentally commercial nature.

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 of several Jamestown investors.

The colonists, Kelso said, may have been trying to both demonstrate their profitmaking ability and butter up company leaders and other prominent Englishmen....



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