The excavation of Oudepost I, a Dutch East India Company outpost on the southwest coast of South Africa (1669-1732), reveals evidence of colonial-indigenous interactions in this early period of European settlement. The site revealed very little stratigraphy and a complex taphonomic history. The chronological integrity of Oudepost I is assessed through a comprehensive analysis of its major artefactual component, namely, a large collection of white clay tobacco pipes. The data from this analysis are integrated with field observations of the building sequence, with findings relating to residues, and with information from documentary sources to infer an occupational history of the site. The results explicate the potential importance of pipes in historic sites, as key elements in decoding occupational sequences.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Dutch clay pipe chronology
- European colonization
- Historical archaeology
- Statistical analysis of clay tobacco pipes