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Vem rökte alla dessa pipor? – en historisk-arkeologisk studie av kritpipor och rökning i 1600- och 1700-talens Sverige med genus- och intersektionalitetsperspektiv

Who Smoked all these Pipes? -An Historical Archaeological Study of Clay Tobacco Pipes and Smoking in 17th and 18th Century Sweden with a Perspevtive of Gender and Intersectionality


Summary, in English

Since the middle of the last century, excavated clay tobacco pipes have been used for dating post-medieval sites with the aid of extensive typologies and dating techniques. Until recently, social aspects of smoking represented by clay tobacco pipes have been relatively unexplored. In Sweden little attention has been paid to social implications of pipes and smoking in the 17th and 18th centuries, and most texts rely on present-day notions of pipe smoking, uncritically treating the excavated pipes as artifacts belonging to a male lifestyle. This essay sets out to show that clay tobacco pipes are a useful source for interpreting and discussing social aspects of life in the 17th and 18th centuries by applying a gender- and intersectionality- aware approach to historic documentation of smoking, pipes, and osteological material in Sweden.
My study shows that tobacco smoking was widespread among both women and men in Sweden during the 17th and 18th centuries. Social proscriptions seem to have dictated where it was appropriate for people to smoke, according to social standing and gender. Upper-class people preferred ritualized smoking in private locations, while peasants and countryfolk smoked more freely. Peasant women smoked during the 17th and 18th centuries, but not in public, while women from lower societal classes were unimpeded by social proscriptions about public smoking, something that brought down criticism from the upper-class men who described them in writing.
Long, smooth pipes, preferred by the upper classes, were more expensive than shorter, coarser pipes used by the lower classes. Decorated pipes also functioned as identity-bearing material culture. Smoking in pipes of different lengths also resulted in different ways of smoking, which resulted in varying marks in the osteological material. People smoked in different ways, in different types of clay tobacco pipes, in different places and for different reasons, due to social proscriptions based on intersectional identities.

Publishing year




Document type

Student publication for Bachelor's degree


  • History and Archaeology


  • Clay Tobacco Pipes
  • Gender
  • Intersectionality
  • Identity
  • Smoking
  • Tobacco
  • 17th century & 18th century Sweden
  • Historical Archaeology


  • Mats Roslund (Professor)