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- Artifact ID #: 1101
- Excavation Unit: 13.5N 26W
- Level: 10-20cmbs
- Identification: Reconstructed ceramic opium pipe bowl with cartouches. Central to the smoking of opium is the ceramic, usually earthenware or stoneware, pipe bowl. Pipe bowls are some of the most commonly recovered artifacts relating to the use of opium in archaeological sites, due to their fragile construction. The pipe bowl would sit atop the wood or bamboo pipe by use of a brass connector and saddle, and examples of those have also been found at German Gulch. The orange, terra cotta, color is the most common appearance for opium pipe bowls though there is a range of other colors including a burnished black. Opium pipe bowls came in a variety of shapes as well, and this example was of a common type. Oftentimes the pipe bowls were engraved with Chinese characters that carried a special meaning relating to good luck, health, and prosperity. This pipe bowl has two Chinese characters on the base.