Fox provides important insights that will help historical archaeologists interpret tobacco-related finds and understand the multiple meanings of a commodity that has burned through the social, political, and economic fabric of the modern world. Frederick H. Smith, author of "The Archaeology of Alcohol and Drinking"
Few artifacts illustrate the American experience as clearly as tobacco. Fox examines how tobacco and smoking reveal broader social life across the face of the planet over a half-millennium. Paul Mullins, author of "The Archaeology of Consumer Culture"
Smoking pipes are among the most commonly found artifacts at North American archaeological sites, affirming the prevalence and longevity of smoking as a cultural practice. Yet surprisingly this is the first study in historical archaeology to broadly interpret tobacco and smoking-related activities along with the clues they give about past societies.
In "The Archaeology of Smoking and Tobacco," Georgia Fox analyzes the archaeological record to survey the discovery, production, consumption, and trade of this once staple crop. She also examines how tobacco use has influenced the evolution of an American cultural identity, including perceptions of glamour, individuality, patriotism, class, gender, ethnicity, and worldliness.
Employing material culture found throughout North America and the Caribbean, Fox considers the ways in which Native Americans, enslaved Africans, the working class, the Irish, and women used tobacco. Her own research in Port Royal, Jamaica an important New World hub in the British-colonial tobacco network provides a fascinating case study to investigate the consumption of luxury goods in the pre-industrial era and the role tobacco played in an emerging capitalist world system and global economy.
A volume in the series the American Experience in Archaeological Perspective, edited by Michael S. Nassaney