(A) A red stone tubular pipe from an Archaic burial in Limestone County, Alabama (B) A ceramic tubular pipe belonging to the Refuge ceramic type. (C) Tubular pipe of limestone recovered from site JAv176A


The tube pipe occurs primarily during the Late Archaic and Early Woodland to early Middle Woodland periods. Emma Fundaburk (Sun Circles and Human Hands) sited one Archaic burial of a thirteen year old girl with a Tub pipe (A) under her arm that was excavated in Limestone County, Alabama. The pipe was made from a soft, red stone.  The center Tubular pipe (B) has all three Refuge decorative patterns of simple stamping, incising and punctation and was tempered with sand and grit, typical of Refuge pottery in Georgia. The decoration on the pipe suggests that it was made by a potter that was probably a woman. The pipe was plowed up in Burke County, Georgia and brought to an artifact ID day in Augusta. It is perhaps the earliest form of ceramic pipe in existence. Bennie Keel also recovered two ceramic tubular pipes from the Swannanoa phase of the Warren Wilson site in Buncombe County, North Carolina. The tubular pipe of limestone (C) was recovered from site JAv176A, a large village site along the Tennessee River in Jackson County Alabama. The pipe was not associated with a burial, but was found with an elbow pipe made of fine-grained sandstone. The site also contained Mulberry Creek and Flint Creek pottery dating to the Early and Middle Woodland period.

Lyman O. Wyman studied the use of tobacco and pipes along the shell "fields" of the St. Johns River in Florida during the mid 1800's, but had recovered no pipes during his research.  C.B. Moore continued Wyman's search over a four year period and had recovered just five pipes, four broken and one whole tube pipe (above). Those examples came from the Mulberry Midden, a much younger midden (possibly Early Woodland) than the older Orange period St. Johns middens. Moore concluded that the use of tobacco was unknown to the builders of the earlier middens while the builders of the later Mulberry Midden used tobacco with a tube form of pipe.


One variation of the tubular pipe is the Adena Blocked End tubular pipe, reported by Billie Ford of Spencerville, Ohio in Vol. 58, No.2 of the Central States Journal. He stated that Donald Gehlbach, in his book, Ohio’s Prehistoric Pipes, believes this type to a refined form of what he called a Trumpet pipe dating to the late Adena period between 01 and 300 A.D. Similar pipes have been found with a small stone in them, presumably for filtering the smoked substance.


This modified Adena tubular pipe appeared in volume 58 of the Central States Journal in 2011.

Examples of this type are made of sandstone.This pipe was recovered by Junior Burkhart in Madison County, Kentucky during the construction of Lake Reba recreational complex in 1987.This is among the rarest of the Adena pipe forms.  C.B. Moore recovered a very similar pipe from a mound near Green Point in Franklin County, Florida.  The mound contained Swift Creek and early Weeden Island Incised pottery that dated to the Middle Woodland period.




This pair of steatite pipes are from the collection of the late Dr. Cramer of Gray, Georgia. They were recovered from a Middle Woodland site in Houston County, Georgia that contained primarily Deptford and Swift Creek pottery. It is difficult to determine whether these were intended as tobacco pipes or medicine tubes, but their conical shape may suggest the former. Example A is plain while pipe B is highly incised.

A more recent form of tubular pipe was recovered by C.B. Moore from a mound near Crystal River. The mound contained Franklin Plain, Weeden Island and Crystal River pottery as well as a square elbow pipe of steatite. The pipe was rather crudely made and incised.



One unusual example of a tubular pipe from the Middle Mississippian period was recovered in southwestern Georgia and is now in the collection of Kevin Dowdy. The pipe is made of steatite and was recovered with other ceremonial materials representing the Southeastern Ceremonial Complex.