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Thematic Time Period - Early Peoples, 10000 BCE - 1820 CE - Archaic, 7000 BCE - 1 CE

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3/4 Grooved Axe from Douglas County

3/4 Grooved Axe from Douglas County
Date: Unknown
This 3/4 grooved axe was collected in Douglas County and donated to the Kansas Historical Society in 1923. While 3/4 grooved axes are frequently recovered from late Archaic sites, their 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. They get their name from the hafting groove the encircles 3/4 of its body.


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.


Alternately Beveled Knives from 14MY383

Alternately Beveled Knives from 14MY383
Date: 6000- 4000 BCE
These two alternately beveled knife fragments were recovered from a Middle Archaic site in Montgomery County and donated to the Kansas Historical Society in 1976. Repeated sharpening on the knife's alternate sides created the bevels.


American Indian Site in Hodgeman County, 14HO306

American Indian Site in Hodgeman County, 14HO306
Date: 1985
Shown are two views from slides of an American Indian site located in a valley in Hodgeman County. The site, in the Pawnee River basin, had bison bone exposed from a later component at the site. Charcoal recovered from the site yielded two dates: an Archaic occupation dating to 3080 - 2400 BCE and a possible Keith variant occupation dating to 1300 - 1420 CE.


Archaic Projectile Point from 14GR324

Archaic Projectile Point from 14GR324
Date: 8000 BCE - 1 CE
This Archaic period dart point was recovered from 14GR324, a Native American site in Greenwood County. The pinkish color of the chert is a result of the flintknapper heat treating the material to improve the chert's knapping qualities. Dart points would be mounted to the dart foreshaft, which would in turn be connected to the dart shaft. The assembled dart would then be thrown with an atlatl (spearthrower).


Arrow Point from 14DN308

Arrow Point from 14DN308
Date: 2000 BCE-500 CE
This arrow point fragment was recovered from an archeological site in a creek meander in Dickinson County. The point is made of Permian chert that has been heat-treated prior to finishing to improve its knapping qualities. The point has an expanding stem. The site was occupied during the late Archaic to Early Ceramic period.


Artifact Collection from 14RY1627

Artifact Collection from 14RY1627
Date: Unknown
Shown is the complete collection of surface artifacts from 14RY1627 in Riley County. Other artifacts, not in the Kansas Historical Society's collection, indicate the site had multiple components or occupations including peoples of both the Kansas City Hopewell and Smoky Hill aspects. The spear point pictured here adds a late Paleolithic to early Archaic component. In addition to the projectile point fragment two bifaces and a mano (grinding stone) are shown.


Atlatl Weight from Brown County

Atlatl Weight from Brown County
Date: Unknown
This atlatl weight was found in Brown County and donated to the Kansas Historical Society in 1981. Atlatl weights serve to increase the throwing power of an atlatl, a stick with an attachment that was used to throw a dart and spear.


Axe or Celt from the Trowbridge Site, 14WY1

Axe or Celt from the Trowbridge Site, 14WY1
Date: 1-250 CE
This partial axe or celt was found at the Trowbridge archeological site in Wyandotte County and donated to the Kansas Historical Society in 1973. Trowbridge is a Kansas City Hopewell site from the Early Ceramic Period. During this time archeologists find evidence of houses, cultivated plants, and decorated pottery. Without the poll end of the artifact it is impossible to tell if it was an axe or a celt. Either way, this woodworking tool would have been made by grinding or pecking it into a general shape followed by polishing. It would have been hafted onto a handle and required periodic resharpening.


Bannerstone from Elk County

Bannerstone from Elk County
Date: 3000-2000 BCE
Bannerstones are weight added to the atlatl shaft to increase the propulsion of the dart point thrown by the atlatl (spearthrower). They are typical of the Late Archaic period and are often made of banded slate. This bannerstone was made in a geniculate style, meaning it is bent as a sharp angle. It has an oval hole for attaching the bannerstone to the atlatl shaft. The bannerstone was found in Elk County and donated to the Kansas Historical Society in 1959.


Basal Notched Dart Point from 14MY383

Basal Notched Dart Point from 14MY383
Date: 4000- 2000 BCE
This basal notched dart point fragment was recovered from a camp site in Montgomery County and donated to the Kansas Historical Society in 1976. The deep basal notches nearly parallel the stem. Dart points such as this one are often typical of the middle Archaic period. Dart points would be mounted to the dart foreshaft, which would in turn be connected to the dart shaft. The assembled dart would then be thrown with an atlatl (spearthrower).


Biface from 14CS1307

Biface from 14CS1307
Date: 7000 BCE-1000 CE
This biface was collected from the surface of a multicomponent workshop site in Chase County by Kansas Historical Society archeologists. The biface, made of Permian chert, may have been stored for future use (what archeologists call a cache), been meant for trade, or had some other significance we today do not know. The site was occupied periodically through the Archaic and Early Ceramic periods.


Biface from the Monroe/John Fay Site

Biface from the Monroe/John Fay Site
Date: Unknown
This thin biface shows some evidence of having been heat treated. It was collected from a multicomponent site in Anderson County with occupations in the Archaic, Early Ceramic, and Middle Ceramic periods. A biface like this one could have been used as a cutting tool or, with more work, turned into a specific tool.


Bifaces from the William Young Site, 14MO304

Bifaces from the William Young Site, 14MO304
Date: 4250-2850 BCE
These three bifaces were among the many that were recovered from the William Young site in Morris County by Kansas Historical Society Archeologists. The bifaces were created by people whose way of living and tool complex is called the Munkers Creek phase by archeologists. In addition to hunting, the Munkers Creek people were harvesting wild plants. Bifaces like these could have been for cutting grass.


Bifaces from the William Young Site, 14MO304

Bifaces from the William Young Site, 14MO304
Date: 4250-2850 BCE
Munkers Creek bifaces, like these four recovered from the William Young site in Morris County, could have been used as cutting tools, or, with more work, turned into more specialized tools. 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.


Bison bones eroding from a cutbank at 14CS355

Bison bones eroding from a cutbank at 14CS355
Date: 1976
Shown is a view of a slide taken of the cutbank at an Archaic camp site in Chase County, excavated in 1976 by Kansas Historical Society archeologists and crew. Bison bones were eroding out of the deeply buried site. Additionally, two hearths were located.


Boatstone from 14CF416

Boatstone from 14CF416
Date: 7000 BCE-1 CE
This boatstone was recovered from a multicomponent site in Coffey County and donated to the Kansas Historical Society in 2015. The camp site was occupied periodically from the Archaic Period to the Late Ceramic Period. This boatstone would have dated to the earlier time period. Boatstones are thought by archeologists to have been used as atlatl weights. The boatstone would have been tied to the atlatl utilizing the central medial groove along the keel. It would have aided the atlatl in throwing the spear and dart further and faster. The boatstone has decorative radiating lines on each of its sides.


Boatstone from the Infinity Site, 14MY305

Boatstone from the Infinity Site, 14MY305
Date: 7000 BCE-1 CE
This boatstone fragment was recovered from a multicomponent site in Montgomery County and donated to the Kansas Historical Society in 1964. The camp site was occupied periodically from the Archaic Period and the Early and Late Ceramic Periods. This boatstone would have dated to the earlier time occupations. Boatstones are thought by archeologists to have been used as atlatl weights. The boatstone would have been tied to the atlatl utilizing the central medial groove along the keel. It would have aided the atlatl (spearthrower) in throwing the spear and dart further and faster. The boatstone may have decorative radiating lines on each side of its existing end.


Bone Awls from the Curry Site, 14GR301

Bone Awls from the Curry Site, 14GR301
Date: 500 BCE-1500 CE
These two bone awls were found at different times by different people at the Curry Archeological Site in Greenwood County. The longest awl was a donation to the Kansas Historical Society in 1984 by the site's owner and was reconstructed from three pieces. The shorter awl was recovered in two pieces from excavations in 1966. They were used to make holes in soft materials, like hides, and possibly in basket and pottery manufacturing.


Calf Creek Dart Point from the Grouse Creek Site, 14CO120

Calf Creek Dart Point from the Grouse Creek Site, 14CO120
Date: 4800-3800 BCE
This complete Calf Creek dart point was collected from an Archaic camp site in Cowley County and donated to the Kansas Historical Society in 2013. The site was associated with both Calf Creek (a distinctive dart point that is generally found in eastern Kansas and states to the east and south during the late Paleoindian Period) and Munkers Creek (a stone tool technology restricted primarily to the Flint Hills from 4000 to 3800 BCE).


Calf Creek Dart Points from the Grouse Creek Site, 14CO120

Calf Creek Dart Points from the Grouse Creek Site, 14CO120
Date: 4800-4200 BCE
These seven Calf Creek dart points were collected from an Archaic camp site in Cowley County and donated to the Kansas Historical Society in 2013. The site was associated with both Calf Creek (a distinctive dart point that is generally found in eastern Kansas and states to the east and south during the late Paleoindian Period) and Munkers Creek (a stone tool technology restricted primarily to the Flint Hills from 4000 to 3800 BCE). The top row shows (from left to right) a nearly complete dart of an unknown chert type, a modified Calf Creek dart point mad of Woodford chert from Oklahoma, and a dart stem made of Wreford chert from Kansas and Oklahoma. The middle row shows two Calf Creek points made of Ozark cherts. The bottom row (from left to right) shows a modified dart point made of Alibates flint, a silicified or agatized dolomite from the Canadian River valley in the Texas panhandle, and a Calf Creek point made of Foraker chert, a type of chert found often in northeast Kansas.


Celt from 14OS1308

Celt from 14OS1308
Date: 6000 BCE-1500 CE
This celt was recovered from a multicomponent site in Osage County and donated to the Kansas Historical Society in 2014. Archeologists use the word multicomponent to indicate that a site has been occupied intermittently throughout time. This woodworking tool would have been manufactured by grinding or pecking it into a general shape followed by polishing. It would have been hafted onto a handle and required periodic resharpening.


Celt from the Foltz Site, 14WB386

Celt from the Foltz Site, 14WB386
Date: 7000 BCE-1500 CE
This small, unfinished celt was collected from the Foltz site, a Native American camp site in Wabaunsee County with multiple occupations from the Archaic to the Middle Ceramic periods. The celt was donated to the Kansas Historical Society in 2018. This woodworking tool would have been manufactured by grinding or pecking it into a general shape followed by polishing. It would have been hafted onto a handle and required periodic resharpening.


Celt from the Taylor Site, 14DP19

Celt from the Taylor Site, 14DP19
Date: 6000 BCE-1000 CE
This celt was gathered from a multicomponent camp site in Doniphan County, occupied during the Archaic and Early Ceramic periods. It was donated to the Kansas Historical Society in 1925. Archeologists use the word multicomponent to indicate that a site has been occupied intermittently throughout time. This woodworking tool would have been manufactured by grinding or pecking it into a general shape followed by polishing. It would have been hafted onto a handle and required periodic resharpening.


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