Smoking pipe, carved in the form of an otter, made of stone.
- Excavated/Findspot: Mound City, Mound 8
- (Americas,North America,United States of America,Ohio,Ross County,Chillicothe,Mound City)
- Length: 10 centimetres
- Height: 5.1 centimetres
- Width: 3.3 centimetres
Excavated by Ephraim Squier and Edwin Davis at Mound City, Chilicothe Ohio, in 1846. This is one of the approximately 200 pipes found in Mound 8, most of these pipes being animal effigies, and many of those being animals that either fly, or as is the case with this pipe, swim. The deep carved empty eye sockets would have originally had fresh water pearls, and it is thought that originally there was a fish in the mouth of this otter. Initially the mammal on this pipe was identifed as a manatee, such mis-identifications of some of the animals on these pipes fueled diffusionist theory debates of the 19th century, in which it was falsely contended that the mound builders were of external origin.
1977 15 Dec-1978 30 Oct, Museum of Mankind, Room 9; Smoking Pipes of the North American Indian
1993-95, London, Museum of Mankind, 'Treasures of the Americas'
1999 25 Jun-Present, BM Room 26; Gallery of North America, Case: "The First Americans / Hopewell Pipes from Mound City, Ohio"
2010-2011, London, BM/BBC, 'A History of the World in 100 Objects'
2014 March-April, Abu Dhabi, Manarat Al Saadiyat, "History of the World" PROMISED
20 September 1996
Improve breaklines. Remove white residue from bottom. illip A
Overall sound. White adhesive residue on bottom. Discoloured and uneven fills in breaklines.
Cut back old fills with a scalpel. To make fills flush with original surface Polyfilla fine surface (calcium carbonate, polyvinyl acetate) was added where necessary. Polished surface of fill and retouched with Rowney's Cryla colours (acrylic).
Africa, Oceania & the Americas
- Am1931E1.266 (old CDMS no.)
If you’ve noticed a mistake or have any further information about this object, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Object reference number: ENA9310
British Museum collection data is also available in the W3C open data standard, RDF, allowing it to join and relate to a growing body of linked data published by organisations around the world.
The Museum makes its collection database available to be used by scholars around the world. Donations will help support curatorial, documentation and digitisation projects.