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Clay heads (stummels, bowls, pipe bodies) of three-piece smoking pipes have been excavated in several dozen sites all over Poland. Most of the finds consisted of several pipes. The largest find, including ca 400 fragments, comes from Lezajsk; ca 100 were found in Zamosc; finds of several dozen items come from the Old Town and the Royal Castle in Warsaw, the town of Przemysl and the Dominikanski Square in Wroclaw (Breslau). The newest among the finds are those from Lezajsk (the second half of the 19th c. and the turn of the 20th c.); the oldest artefact, dated to the 16th-17th c., was found in Elblag (Elbing); 17th-century pipes were excavated in Boleslawiec on the Prosna, Tykocin, Warsaw and Zlota. Precise dating is possible only in some cases, for example the pipes found in the former camp of the Polish army near Wojnicz can be dated at before 1655, those excavated in the Royal Castle and the Castle Square in Warsaw at the second half of the 17th c. and the first half of the 18th c., those from the remains of a potter's workshop at Brama Poboczna [the Side Gate] at the 17th c. and those from the house of Bochenkowicz in Warsaw at the second half of the 18th c. and the beginning of the 19th c. Although since the 1990s this type of artefact has gained more attention among scholars and has been addressed in a growing number of publications, only few finds have been described in detail. Therefore, it is interesting to consider the pipes excavated in the castle of Tykocin, which are numerous, varied and properly dated. The author aims to present the forms and ornaments of the pipes from this collection, as well as to systematise them. The finds in question were excavated during the exploration of the castle complex in Tykocin, in the province of Podlasie, in the years 2001-2005. There are 30 clay pipe heads in the collection. Most of them were found in the culture layers connected with the functioning of the Tykocin castle from the beginning of the 17th c. to the mid 18th c. The events that took place there at that time are important in determining the provenance of the pipes. It is, however, difficult to find out for how long a given artefact was used. It can only be supposed that clay heads were not durable and they were disposed of if damaged. The durability of such artefacts probably depended on the individual features of the users. Apart from clay heads, the Tykocin finds include three fragments of white one-piece pipes. The pipes were probably used by the soldiers who fought or were stationed in the castle. They can be dated at the period from the second half of the 17th c. to the mid 19th c. The data on all the pipe heads are collected in table 1. Only one of the heads is unbroken; the others are in fact fragments of different size. Most were made of ferruginous clay; only two are white. All were made of well-washed ceramic body. 1/3 of the heads analysed were certainly made with matrices. The majority were fired in an oxidising atmosphere; their potsherds are of various shades of beige or brick-red. Five of the heads (shaped of ferruginous clay) were fired in a reducing atmosphere; those are black. In 11 cases (37%) the outer surface is covered with a thin layer of glaze, in most cases lead glaze - only head no. 9 is covered with clay glaze. The glaze coatings are light and dark green, yellow and light brown; the clay glaze is of cherry colour. The ornaments on the heads are usually schematic, of floral or geometric forms. The simplest ornaments were incised or rolled. There is an example of the stamping technique, with the motif of rosette repeated five times. More varied and complicated ornaments were moulded in the matrix together with the head; those include notches, single flowers or stylised floral shapes and check motifs. Burnishing was aimed at producing a smooth surface effect. The polygonal shape of some rims (rings), bowls and shanks are also of decorative character. Only one pipe from this collection, no. 30, dated at the mid 19th c., is marked with the stamp of the producer - a manufacturer from Staszów in Little Poland. Half of the pipes were certainly used, since their chambers are blackened and sooted. Since the finds are mostly fragments, the data on the shape and size of the pipes are incomplete. There are few data on the rims, which are scarce among the finds. Perhaps this was the part of the pipe the was most easily damaged, and if that happened the pipe was unusable and the head was thrown away. Based mainly on foreign publications and the works of Philippe Gosse, John W. Hayes, Rebecca C.W. Robinson, the author has proposed a typology of the finds from Tykocin. Furthermore, taking into consideration the shape, the ornaments and the technological criteria she has classified the finds into eight groups. For some of them analogies can be traced in other finds from Poland and from abroad. Only in few cases it was possible to hypothesise about the provenance of the pipes. Some of them were probably made in Turkey or modelled on Turkish pipes (heads no. 5,6, 10 and 13 of group 2, heads no. 18, 21-24 of group 3 and heads no. 28 and 29 of group 7). Some of the heads from group 5 (no. 15 and 25-27) were possibly produced locally, in Podlasie. One head, no. 30, was certainly manufactured in Poland, in Staszów.
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  • Mgr Magdalena Bis, Zaklad Historii Kultury Materialnej, Instytut Archeologii i Etnologii PAN, Al. Solidarnosci 105, 00-140 Warszawa, Poland
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