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14MP1, Paint Creek Site Effigy or Chipped Stone Tool?

14MP1, Paint Creek Site Effigy or Chipped Stone Tool?
Date: 1500-1800 CE
This artifact was found at the Paint Creek village in McPherson County. It was donated to the Kansas Historical Society in 1971. Archeologists sometimes ponder how to classify an artifact: is this an effigy or a chipped stone tool? The Paint Creek site is what archeologists call part of the Little River Focus of the Great Bend aspect (ancestral Wichita), whose people practiced fishing, hunting, gathering, and agriculture.


3/4 Grooved Axe from Jefferson County

3/4 Grooved Axe from Jefferson County
Date: 7000 BCE-1 CE
This 3/4 grooved axe was collected from a sand bar in Jefferson County and donated to the Kansas Historical Society in 2015. While 3/4 grooved axes are frequently recovered from late Archaic sites, there use is not restricted to that time period. Axes like these are made by pecking a hard stone into a rough shape and then grinding and polishing it into its final state. As the axe was made seven small concavities were revealed in the stone. Axes like this one get their name from the hafting groove the encircles 3/4 of its body.


3/4 Grooved Axes From Doniphan County

3/4 Grooved Axes From Doniphan County
Date: 7000 BCE-1 CE
These four 3/4 grooved axes were collected from the White Cloud, Kansas area by antiquarian Mark E. Zimmerman (1866-1933), who donated them to the Highland Mission (now called the Iowa Sac and Fox Mission). Traces of the collector's marks (yellow paint) and labeling are faintly visible on some of the axes. While 3/4 grooved axes are frequently recovered from late Archaic sites, they are also found from other time periods. Axes like these are made by pecking a hard stone into a rough shape and then grinding and polishing it into its final state. They get their name from the hafting groove the encircles 3/4 of the axe's body. It is unknown if these four axes were found near each other, but they all are quite similar in size, ranging from 12.8cm - 11.2cm in length, 7.7cm - 6.6cm in width, and 4.5cm - 3.6cm thick.


Abrader from the Paint Creek Site, 14MP1

Abrader from the Paint Creek Site, 14MP1
Date: 1500-1800 CE
This Sioux quartzite abrader was excavated at the Paint Creek village in McPherson County. Archeologists call abraders groundstone tools as they are shaped by grinding. This abrader has been used to sharpen another tool, such as a bone needle or awl. The Paint Creek site is what archeologists call part of the Little River Focus of the Great Bend Aspect (ancestral Wichita), whose people practiced fishing, hunting, gathering, and agriculture.


Abraders from 14SA409

Abraders from 14SA409
Date: 1-1500 CE
These three abraders were recovered from the surface of a Saline County camp site and donated to the Kansas Historical Society in 2017. The site was occupied during the Upper Republican and Smoky Hill phases in the Early and Middle Ceramic periods. Archeologists call these groundstone tools as they are shaped by grinding. The sandstone abraders could be used as pairs, one on each side, to smooth a wood shaft.


Abraders from the Fanning Site, 14DP1

Abraders from the Fanning Site, 14DP1
Date: 1500-1700 CE
These abraders were recovered from Doniphan County and donated to the Kansas Historical Society in 1981. Archeologists call these abraders groundstone tools as they are shaped by grinding. The sandstone abraders could be used as pairs, one on each side, to smooth a wood shaft or individually to sharpen or smooth other items. The Fanning site was a Late Ceramic to early Contact Period village occupied by the Kansa.


Abraders from the Killdeer Site, 14CO501

Abraders from the Killdeer Site, 14CO501
Date: 1500-1750 CE
These two abraders were among the many that were recovered during the 1994 Kansas Archeology Training Program field school at the Killdeer site, since destroyed by construction. Archeologists call these groundstone tools as they are shaped by grinding. The sandstone abraders could sometimes be used as pairs, one on each side, to smooth a wood arrow shaft. The Killdeer site was a Lower Walnut focus Great Bend aspect (ancestral Wichita) site in Cowley County with numerous pits, basins and post molds.


Abraders from the Kohr Site, 14SA414

Abraders from the Kohr Site, 14SA414
Date: 780-860 CE
These abraders were collected in the 1930s from Kohr House No. 1, a large village site in Saline County and donated to the Kansas Historical Society in 1971. Archeologists call these groundstone tools as they are shaped by grinding. The sandstone abraders could be used as pairs, one on each side, to smooth a wood shaft. All four artifacts were made of Dakota sandstone. The two on the bottom row are in the process of manufacture, enabling us to see how they were made. The Kohr site was occupied by Smoky Hill aspect people and had several rectangular houses. Radiocarbon dates on maize indicate it was occupied during the Early Ceramic period.


Abraders from the Lamar Site, 14OT304

Abraders from the Lamar Site, 14OT304
Date: 1000-1400 CE
These three abraders were excavated in 1935 from the Lamar site in Ottawa County and donated to the Kansas Historical Society in 1971. The Smoky Hill phase occupation site had a single, almost square, house and four cache pits. Archeologists call these groundstone tools as they are shaped by grinding. The sandstone abraders could be used as pairs, one on each side, to smooth a wood shaft.


Abraders from the Tobias Site, 14RC8

Abraders from the Tobias Site, 14RC8
Date: 1400-1700 CE
Shown are four abraders recovered from the excavations during the 2019 Kansas Archeology Training Program field school at the Tobias site in Rice County. Archeologists call these abraders groundstone tools as they are shaped by grinding. The sandstone abraders could be used as pairs, one on each side, to smooth a wood shaft or individually to sharpen or smooth other items. The Tobias site is a Great Bend aspect (ancestral Wichita) village that had dense artifact deposits, house remains, and numerous deep trash-filled storage pits. It is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.


Abraders from the Tobias Site, 14RC8

Abraders from the Tobias Site, 14RC8
Date: 1400-1700 CE
Shown are a few of the many abraders and shaft smoothers recovered from the excavations during the 1977 and 1978 Kansas Archeology Training Program field schools at the Tobias site in Rice County. Archeologists call these groundstone tools as they are shaped by grinding. The sandstone abraders could be used as pairs, one on each side, to smooth a wood shaft or individually to sharpen or smooth items. The Tobias site is a Great Bend aspect (ancestral Wichita) village that had dense artifact deposits, house remains, and numerous deep trash-filled storage pits. It is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.


Adze or Axe from 14MN328

Adze or Axe from 14MN328
Date: 1500-1800 CE
This chipped stone tool, possibly either an adze or an axe, was most likely used for woodworking. A fossil embedded in the chert was not removed by the original flintknapper. It was excavated in 1986 by Kansas Historical Society archeologists from 14MN328, a Great Bend aspect (ancestral Wichita) site in Marion County.


Adze or Axe from the Country Club Site, 14CO3

Adze or Axe from the Country Club Site, 14CO3
Date: 1400-1725 CE
This chipped stone tool, either an adze or an axe, was most likely used for woodworking. It was excavated from a Great Bend aspect village site (ancestral Wichita) in Cowley County during Phase IV archeological investigations in 1995. The site had been much impacted by a water line, golf greens, roads, and highways. Excavations had been occurring at the site since 1916.


Alibates Core from 14PT420

Alibates Core from 14PT420
Date: 1300-1500 CE
Shown is a core, a stone from which flakes are removed to make chipped stone tools. The core was recovered in 1994 by Kansas Historical Society archeologists at a Middle Ceramic period Pratt complex village in Pratt County. The parent material for this core is Alibates agatized dolomite from the Canadian River valley in the Texas panhandle. This suggests either trade with people further south or travel by Pratt complex people to the Texas panhandle.


Alibates Flint from 14RC410

Alibates Flint from 14RC410
Date: 1400-1499 CE
These fragments of flint were recovered in 1981 by Kansas Historical Society archeologists at an archeological site in Rice County. They are made of Alibates flint, a silicified or agatized dolomite from the Canadian River valley in the Texas panhandle. This suggests either trade with people further south or travel by the ancestral Wichita people living at the site to the Texas panhandle. The site is what archeologists call part of the Little River focus of the Great Bend aspect, whose people practiced fishing, hunting, gathering, and agriculture.


Alibates Scraper from the Tobias Site, 14RC8

Alibates Scraper from the Tobias Site, 14RC8
Date: 1400-1700 CE
This scraper was collected from the Tobias site in Rice County and donated to the Kansas Historical Society in 2020. Scrapers such as this would have been hafted on a handle and used to scrape hides. The scraper was made of Alibates Agatized dolomite, a silicified or agatized dolomite from the Canadian River valley in the Texas panhandle. The Tobias site is a Great Bend aspect (ancestral Wichita) village that has dense artifact deposits, house remains, and numerous deep trash-filled storage pits. The site is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.


Alibates Scrapers from the Saxman Site, 14RC301

Alibates Scrapers from the Saxman Site, 14RC301
Date: 1500-1650 CE
Shown are five scrapers that were collected from the Saxman site in Rice County and donated to the Kansas Historical Society in 2017. Scrapers such as these would have been hafted on a handle and used to scrape hides. They would have required periodic resharpening. All five scrapers were made of Alibates flint, a silicified or agatized dolomite from the Canadian River valley in the Texas panhandle. The Saxman site, a large Great Bend aspect village, was occupied by ancestral Wichita peoples.


Alibates Scrapers from the Tobias Site, 14RC8

Alibates Scrapers from the Tobias Site, 14RC8
Date: 1400-1700 CE
These seven scrapers were excavated during the 1977 Kansas Archeology Training Program field school at the Tobias site in Rice County. Scrapers such as these would have been hafted on a handle and used to scrape hides. They would have required periodic resharpening. All seven scrapers were made of Alibates agatized dolomite from the Canadian River valley in the Texas panhandle. The Tobias site is a Great Bend aspect (ancestral Wichita) village that had dense artifact deposits, house remains, and numerous deep trash-filled storage pits. The site is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.


A Lithic Collection from the Elliott Site, 14GE303

A Lithic Collection from the Elliott Site, 14GE303
Date: 4250-2850 BCE
These eight lithic artifacts were collected from an archeological site in Geary County with a Munkers Creek component. They were donated to the Kansas Historical Society in 1925. The artifacts shown here are eight large thick bifaces that may have been used as woodworking tools. The upper left artifact has silica gloss from use on plant materials. The Munkers Creek phase describes a stone tool technology restricted primarily to the Flint Hills. During this time most of North America was in a prolonged drought so severe that some archeologists thought people left the Plains. Munkers Creek artifacts show that people stayed, but they had to adapt by using many different types of animals and plants for food in a less productive environment.


Alternately Beveled Knife and Drill from the Anthony Site, 14HP1

Alternately Beveled Knife and Drill from the Anthony Site, 14HP1
Date: 1100-1300 CE
This knife and drill were recovered from the Anthony site in Harper County. Repeated sharpening on the knife's alternate sides created the bevels. It is made of Florence chert from the Flint Hills region and gets its pinkish color as a result of the material being carefully heated before manufacturing to improve the chert's knapping qualities. Drills were used to bore holes in materials softer than the drill itself, such as hides, shell, wood, or soft stone. The drill is made of Smoky Hill silicified chalk, a type of chert that outcrops in western Kansas and north into Nebraska. The Anthony site dates to the Bluff Creek complex in the Middle Ceramic period. Bluff Creek people practiced a mixed economy of hunting, gathering, and some horticulture.


Alternately Beveled Knife from 14MO433

Alternately Beveled Knife from 14MO433
Date: 1500-1800 CE
This knife fragment was recovered from an archeological site in Morris County with occupations in the Archaic, Early Ceramic, and Late Ceramic periods. It was donated to the Kansas Historical Society in 2017. Repeated sharpening on the knife's alternate sides created the bevels. The Great Bend aspect style knife would have been hafted to a handle.


Alternately Beveled Knife from 14RC418

Alternately Beveled Knife from 14RC418
Date: 1350-1650 CE
This alternately beveled knife was recovered by Kansas Historical Society archeologists during a pipeline survey. It was discovered on the surface of 14RC418, a Great Bend aspect (ancestral Wichita) site in Rice County. The two notches near the base indicate that the knife was most likely hafted.


Alternately Beveled Knife from 14SA407

Alternately Beveled Knife from 14SA407
Date: 1000-1500 CE
This alternately beveled knife was found on the surface of a Middle Ceramic period Smoky Hill aspect camp site in Saline County and donated to the Kansas Historical Society in 2017. Repeated sharpening on the knife's alternate sides created the bevels.


Alternately Beveled Knife from the Shrope Site, 14CO331

Alternately Beveled Knife from the Shrope Site, 14CO331
Date: 1400-1725 CE
This alternately beveled knife was recovered from the Shrope village site in Cowley County. The knife gets its pinkish color as a result of the material being carefully heated before manufacturing to improve the chert's knapping qualities. Repeated sharpening on alternate sides created bevels and the two notches near the base indicate that the knife was most likely hafted. The Shrope site, a large Great Bend aspect (ancestral Wichita) village, was excavated by Kansas Historical Society archeologists and crew in 1995. Forty-one archeological features, such as storage pits, hearths, and post molds, were uncovered at the site.


Alternately Beveled Knife from the Tobias Site, 14RC8

Alternately Beveled Knife from the Tobias Site, 14RC8
Date: 1400-1700 CE
This alternately beveled knife was recovered from excavations during the 1977 Kansas Archeology Training Program field school at the Tobias site in Rice County. The knife is made of Smoky Hill silicified chalk, a good quality knapping material that is exposed in linear beds in northwestern Kansas and western Nebraska. Repeated sharpening on the knife's alternate sides created the bevels. The Tobias site is a Great Bend aspect (ancestral Wichita) village that had dense artifact deposits, house remains, and numerous deep trash-filled storage pits. The site is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.


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