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Thematic Time Period - Early Peoples, 10000 BCE - 1820 CE - Late Ceramic, 1500 - 1820 CE

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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.


A Crooked Knife from Blue Earth Village, 14PO24

A Crooked Knife from Blue Earth Village, 14PO24
Date: 1790-1830 CE
This crooked knife was recovered from the Blue Earth village site and donated to the Kansas Historical Society in 1880. Blue Earth village was a Kansa Indian village in Pottawatomie County. Many lodge depressions were still visible on the surface in the 1880s. Archeologists think these "crooked knives" were traded to the Kansa already in their unique shape. They were likely used for woodworking, such as in the manufacturing of bowls or spoons. Three nail holes indicate that the crooked knife once had a handle.


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 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 Tobias Site, 14RC8

Abraders from the Tobias Site, 14RC8
Date: 1400-1600 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 (including chain mail brought to Kansas by sixteenth-century Spanish explorers), house remains and numerous deep trash-filled storage pits. It is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.


Abraders from the Wullscheleger Site, 14MH301

Abraders from the Wullscheleger Site, 14MH301
Date: 1-1800 CE
These three Dakota sandstone abraders were collected from the Wullscheleger Site in Marshall County and donated to the Kansas Historical Society in 1961. Archeologists call abraders like these groundstone tools, as they are shaped by grinding. Some of the abraders could be used in pairs, one on each side, to smooth a wood shaft. The village site was occupied periodically from the Early Ceramic to the Late Ceramic periods.


Adze from Blue Earth Village, 14PO24

Adze from Blue Earth Village, 14PO24
Date: 1790-1830 CE
This adze was used for cutting and shaping wood. It was collected from Blue Earth village and donated to the Kansas Historical Society in 1880. Blue Earth village was a Kansa Indian village in Pottawatomie County. Many lodge depressions were still visible on the surface in the 1880s.


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.


Adze or Axe from the Wullscheleger Site, 14MH301

Adze or Axe from the Wullscheleger Site, 14MH301
Date: 1-1800 CE
This chipped stone tool, made of Florence chert that outcrops in the Flint Hills of Kansas and Oklahoma, may have been used as an adze or axe. Artifacts like this one were likely used for wood working. It was collected from the Wullscheleger site in Marshall County and donated to the Kansas Historical Society in 1961. The site was occupied periodically throughout the Early, Middle and Late Ceramic periods.


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: 1400-1600 CE
These seven scrapers were recovered from the excavations 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 flint, 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 had dense artifact deposits (including chain mail brought to Kansas by sixteenth-century Spanish explorers), house remains and numerous deep trash-filled storage pits. The site is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.


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 the Hays Lankard Site, 14AD353

Alternately Beveled Knife from the Hays Lankard Site, 14AD353
Date: 1-1800 CE
This knife was collected from the Hays Lankard site, an archeological site in Anderson County and donated in 1961 to the Kansas Historical Society. The knife gets its pinkish color as a result of the flintknapper heat treating the material to improve the chert's knapping qualities. Repeated sharpening on alternate sides created bevels. The two notches near the base indicate that the knife was mostly likely hafted. One side is nearly covered with the collector's notes.


Alternately Beveled Knife from the Tobias Site, 14RC8

Alternately Beveled Knife from the Tobias Site, 14RC8
Date: 1400-1600 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 southeastern 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.


Alternately Beveled Knives from the Saxman Site, 14RC301

Alternately Beveled Knives from the Saxman Site, 14RC301
Date: 1500-1650 CE
Shown are four alternately beveled knives that were collected from the Saxman site in Rice County and donated to the Kansas Historical Society in 2017. Repeated sharpening on the knife's alternate sides created the bevels. Three of the knives are made on Smoky Hill silicified chalk, which outcrops in western Kansas. The slight pinkish color of the fourth knife indicates that it had been heat treated, prior to knapping, to improve knapping quality of the chert. The Saxman site, a large Great Bend aspect village, was occupied by the ancestral Wichita peoples.


Antler Billet from the Saxman Site, 14RC301

Antler Billet from the Saxman Site, 14RC301
Date: 1500-1650 CE
This flintknapping tool, an antler billet, was recovered from the Saxman site in Rice County and donated to the Kansas Historical Society in 2016. The billet was made from the base of an antler and was used to remove flakes from chert during flintknapping. The Saxman site, a large Great Bend aspect village, was occupied by the ancestral Wichita people.


Arrow Points from 14CF416

Arrow Points from 14CF416
Date: 1-1800 CE
This assortment of five arrow points was recovered from site 14CF416, in Coffey County, and donated to the Kansas Historical Society in 2015. The two corner notched points on the left date to the Early Ceramic Period (1-1000 CE). The two side notched points in the middle date to the Middle Ceramic Period (1000-1500 CE) and the Fresno point of the far right dates to the Late Ceramic Period (1500-1800 CE). The pinkish color of two of the points indicates they have been heat treated to improve their knapping qualities.


Arrow Points from 14CS355

Arrow Points from 14CS355
Date: 1695-1745 CE
These two arrow points were recovered from 14CS355, a multicomponent (multiple occupations) Native American site in Chase County. Two radiocarbon dates are associated with the site: a hearth that was dated to 500 - 1055 CE and some charcoal dated to 1695 - 1745 CE. The pinkish color of the arrow points is a result of the flintknapper heat treating the material to improve the chert's knapping qualities.


Arrow Points from El Cuartelejo, 14SC1

Arrow Points from El Cuartelejo, 14SC1
Date: 1650-1750 CE
Shown are three of the many side notched arrow points that were recovered from the El Cuartelejo site in Scott County. The site, unique in Kansas, is the location of a seven room pueblo occupied by refugees from the Taos and Picuris pueblos in New Mexico in addition to Dismal River aspect groups (Apache). El Cuartelejo, also called the Scott County Pueblo, has been excavated and studied by many archeologists since 1898. These arrow points were recovered during the 1976 Kansas Archeology Training Program. The notches aided in hafting the point to the arrow shaft.


Arrow Points from Kearny County

Arrow Points from Kearny County
Date: 1-1800 CE
These eleven arrow points collected from Kearny County were donated to the Kansas Historical Society in 2016. They are made from assorted materials in different styles: triangular, side-notched, corner-notched, single corner-notched, and miniature. The dates for the different styles range from the Early Ceramic Period (corner notched points) to the Middle Ceramic Period (side notched points) to the Late Ceramic Period (triangular).


Arrow Points from Lyon County

Arrow Points from Lyon County
Date: 1-1800 CE
These eight arrow points were found in Lyon County and donated to the Kansas Historical Society in 1958. They are made from assorted materials in different styles: triangular, side-notched, corner-notched, and one single corner-notched or preform. The dates for the different styles range from the Early Ceramic Period (corner-notched points) to the Middle Ceramic Period (side-notched points) to the Late Ceramic Period (triangular).


Arrow Points from the Thompson Site, 14RC9

Arrow Points from the Thompson Site, 14RC9
Date: 1500-1800 CE
These arrow points were among the many collected and excavated from the Thompson site in Rice County. The site, listed in the National Register of Historic Places, was a Great Bend aspect village occupied by ancestral Wichita people. The arrow point on the top right was excavated during the 1986 Kansas Archeology Training Program field school. All others were donated to the Kansas Historical Society in 1971. The arrow point on the left of the top row is side-notched. The others are triangular or Fresno arrow points. Archeologists identify Fresno arrow points as being unnotched with a triangular shape. Though small and thin, they would have been extremely effective on the hunt.


Arrow Shaft Wrenches from the Nulik Site, 14SR305

Arrow Shaft Wrenches from the Nulik Site, 14SR305
Date: 1000-1500 CE
These broken bone arrow shaft wrenches were recovered during excavations in 1969 by Kansas Historical Society archeologists at the Nulik site in Sumner County. Arrow shaft wrenches were used to straighten a warped arrow shaft. Two of these wrenches were made on deer tibias and one on a deer long bone. Two wrenches are decorated with incised zig zags and lines. The excavations at the site revealed a Great Bend aspect (ancestral Wichita) house and associated midden (refuse heap or mound).


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