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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 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).


Arrow Shaft Wrench from the Thompson Site, 14RC9

Arrow Shaft Wrench from the Thompson Site, 14RC9
Date: 1500-1800 CE
This bone arrow shaft wrench was recovered from the Thompson site in Rice County and donated to the Kansas Historical Society in 1963. Arrow shaft wrenches were used to straighten a warped arrow shaft. This wrench was made on the left tibia of a deer. The site, listed in the National Register of Historic Places, was a Great Bend aspect village occupied by ancestral Wichita people.


Artifact Collection from 14SF301

Artifact Collection from 14SF301
Date: 1975
Shown is a slide, taken in 1975, of artifacts collected at the Comanche Archeological Site in Stafford County. The site was the location of a camp in a blowout (a depression created by wind erosion) within stabilized sand dunes. Archeologists consider the site to be multicomponent (multiple occupations) that was occupied periodically through the Early to Late Ceramic Periods (1 CE - 1800). Artifacts shown on the slide include bone, pottery sherds, chert knives and arrow points.


Awl from the Paint Creek Site, 14MP1

Awl from the Paint Creek Site, 14MP1
Date: 1500-1800 CE
This complete bone awl was found at the Paint Creek archeological site, a village in McPherson County, Kansas. Awls such as this one are usually made from deer bone. They were used to make holes in soft material, like hides, and possibly in basket and pottery manufacturing. The awl was donated to the Kansas Historical Society in 2012. The Paint Creek site is part of the Little River focus of the Great Bend aspect (ancestral Wichita), whose people practiced fishing, hunting, gathering, and agriculture.


Awl from the Thompson Site, 14RC9

Awl from the Thompson Site, 14RC9
Date: 1500-1800 CE
This awl was recovered during excavations at the 1986 Kansas Archeology Training Program field school at the Thompson site in Rice County. The right fibula of a raccoon was sharpened and polished to make the awl. Awls were used as a perforating tool in soft materials, like hides, and possibly in basket and pottery manufacture. The site, listed in the National Register of Historic Places, was a Great Bend aspect (ancestral Wichita) village.


Awls from the El Cuartelejo Site, 14SC1

Awls from the El Cuartelejo Site, 14SC1
Date: 1650-1750 CE
Shown are three of the many bone awls 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 awls were recovered during the 1976 Kansas Archeology Training Program. Awls were usually made from deer bone and used as a perforating tool in soft material, like hides, and possibly in basket and pottery manufacturing. The awl on the left was made from a whitetail deer ulna and the awl in the center from a deer metapodial. The awl on the right was made from a rib, which, when the tip broke was never used again.


Awls from the Sharps Creek Site, 14MP408

Awls from the Sharps Creek Site, 14MP408
Date: 1500-1800 CE
These three awls were recovered from the Sharps Creek site in McPherson County, a Great Bend aspect (ancestral Wichita) village that was occupied during the Late Ceramic period. Awls were usually made from deer bone and used as a perforating tool in soft material, like hides, and possibly in basket and pottery manufacturing. The two awls on the left were recovered during excavation at the site in 1968 by Kansas Historical Society archeologists. The smaller awl on the right was recovered during excavations at the 1993 Kansas Archeology Training Program field school.


Awls from the Tobias Site, 14RC8

Awls from the Tobias Site, 14RC8
Date: 1400-1700 CE
Shown here are three of the many bone awls excavated at the Tobias site, a Great Bend aspect (ancestral Wichita) site in Rice County. The Tobias site was the location of the 1977 and 1978 Kansas Archeology Training Program field schools. The smallest awl was recovered in 1977 and the two larger awls were recovered in 1978. Awls were usually made from deer bone and used as a perforating tool in soft material, like hides, and possibly in basket and pottery manufacturing. 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.


Beads from the Shrope Site, 14CO331

Beads from the Shrope Site, 14CO331
Date: 1400-1725 CE
In 1995 a Phase IV highway salvage excavation was conduction by Kansas Historical Society archeologists and crew at the Shrope site, a large Great Bend aspect (ancestral Wichita) village in Cowley County. At the site, 41 archeological features were uncovered in three areas. The shell bead shown here, and numerous artifacts, were recovered from deep within a bell-shaped pit. The mussel shell is delicate and great care must have been taken to create the oval hole and shape the bead. The bone bead was found at shallower depths in a different pit. Both ends of a bird bone have been scored, snapped and smoothed to create the bead.


Bird Bone Beads from the Curry Site, 14GR301

Bird Bone Beads from the Curry Site, 14GR301
Date: 1200-1400 CE
These bird bone beads and others were recovered from the Curry site in Greenwood County, and donated to the Kansas Historical Society in 1984. The Curry site was a multicomponent (multiple occupations) site occupied periodically during the Archaic, Early Ceramic and Middle Ceramic Periods. The beads were made from a section of bird bone, as bird bones are mostly hollow. They were scored, then cut or snapped, and finally had their edges smoothed, to form the tubular beads. Incised spirals and rings were added to each bead for decoration.


Bison Bone Rasp from the Crandall Site, 14RC420

Bison Bone Rasp from the Crandall Site, 14RC420
Date: 1500-1800 CE
This rasp was excavated from the Crandall site in Rice County during the 1983 Kansas Archeology Training Program field school. The rasp was made by cutting grooves into a bison rib. At some point, the rasp was broken into two pieces. Archeologists believe that artifacts like these could have been used as musical instruments by drawing a stick across the grooves. The Crandall site is a Little River focus Great Bend aspect (ancestral Wichita) habitation site.


Bison Scapula Hoe Fragments from the Paint Creek Site, 14MP408

Bison Scapula Hoe Fragments from the Paint Creek Site, 14MP408
Date: 1500-1800 CE
These three bison scapula hoe fragments were recovered in 1968 by Kansas Historical Society archeologists at the Paint Creek village in McPherson County. The hoe's maker removed the long spine that runs the length of the scapula (shoulder blade), beveled and sharpened the edge, and hafted it to a handle. The Paint Creek site is part of the Little River focus of the Great Bend aspect (ancestral Wichita), whose people practiced fishing, hunting, gathering, and agriculture.


Bison Scapula Hoe Fragments from the Tobias Site, 14RC8

Bison Scapula Hoe Fragments from the Tobias Site, 14RC8
Date: 1400-1700
These bison scapula hoe fragments were recovered from excavations during the 2019 Kansas Archeology Training Program field school at the Tobias site in Rice County. To make the hoe, the long spine that runs the length of the scapula (shoulder blade) was removed and the edges were beveled and sharpened. Then the hoe blade was hafted to a handle. 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.


Bison Scapula Hoe from the Aerhart Site, 14OT305

Bison Scapula Hoe from the Aerhart Site, 14OT305
Date: 1000-1400 CE
This remnant of a bison scapula hoe was collected from the Aerhart site in 1934 and donated in 1971 to the Kansas Historical Society. The Aerhart site, in Ottawa County, was a Smoky Hill phase site with one circular house with an entryway to the southeast. The hoe's maker removed the long spine that runs the length of the scapula (shoulder blade), beveled and sharpened the edge, and hafted it to a handle. This hoe has nearly been completely used and may have been repurposed into another tool.


Bison Scapula Hoe from the Curry Site, 14GR301

Bison Scapula Hoe from the Curry Site, 14GR301
Date: 1200-1400 CE
This portion of a bison scapula hoe was recovered from the Curry site and donated to the Kansas Historical Society in 1984. The Curry site is a multicomponent (multiple occupations) village in Greenwood County. The scapula was sharpened and attached to a handle and used as a hoe in gardening.


Bison Scapula Hoe from the Minneaspolis Site, 14OT5

Bison Scapula Hoe from the Minneaspolis Site, 14OT5
Date: 1232-1409 CE
This bison scapula hoe was recovered from the Minneapolis archeological site in Ottawa County during excavation in 1934. It was donated to the Kansas Historical Society in 1987. The Minneapolis site represents a village of the Smoky Hill Aspect peoples during the Middle Ceramic time period. The hoe's maker removed the long spine that runs the length of the scapula (shoulder blade), beveled and sharpened the edge, and hafted it to a handle.


Bison Scapula Hoe from the Tobias Site, 14RC8

Bison Scapula Hoe from the Tobias Site, 14RC8
Date: 1400-1700 CE
This bison scapula hoe fragment was excavated during the 2019 Kansas Archeology Training Program field school at the Tobias site in Rice County. The hoe's maker removed the long spine that runs the length of the scapula (shoulder blade), beveled and sharpened the edge, and hafted it to a handle. The beveled edge is still visible. 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.


Bison Scapula Hoes from the Tobias Site, 14RC8

Bison Scapula Hoes from the Tobias Site, 14RC8
Date: 1400-1700 CE
These bison scapula hoes were recovered from excavations during the 1977 and 1978 Kansas Archeology Training Program field schools at the Tobias site in Rice County. The makers of the hoes removed the long spine that runs the length of the scapula (shoulder blade), beveled and sharpened the edge, and hafted it to a handle. 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.


Bison Scapula with an Engraved Star from the Radio Lane Site, 14CO385

Bison Scapula with an Engraved Star from the Radio Lane Site, 14CO385
Date: 1400-1725 CE
This unique bison scapula was excavated at the Radio Lane site in Cowley County. The scapula shows some silica polish, indicating it may have been used as a hoe. It was recovered about 120 cm below the surface in a bell shaped pit. The incised star may be associated with a Pawnee ceremony to Evening Star and her sacred garden. The Radio Lane site was a large Great Bend aspect (ancestral Wichita) village. Kansas Historical Society archeologists and crew excavated there during a Phase IV salvage project in 1995.


Bison Skull Fragment from the Country Club Site, 14CO3

Bison Skull Fragment from the Country Club Site, 14CO3
Date: 1400-1725 CE
The back portion of the skull shown here was attached to the uppermost vertebrae, the atlas or C1, of a bison. The skull fragment shows evidence of burning and polish, which may be pot polish or a sealant used to help preserve bone. The skull fragment was excavated from a Great Bend aspect (ancestral Wichita) village 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.


Bison Tibia Digging Stick Tip from 14PT304

Bison Tibia Digging Stick Tip from 14PT304
Date: 1300-1500 CE
Digging tools, such as this digging stick tip, are evidence of practicing horticulture. The bison tibia digging stick tip was recovered from a Middle Ceramic period archeological site in Pratt County that was attributed to Pratt Complex people. The Pratt Complex is poorly understood. This makes diagnostic artifacts such as this digging stick tip important to our understanding of earlier life styles.


Bone Awl from Jewell County

Bone Awl from Jewell County
Date: Unknown
This bone awl was found in Jewell County and donated to the Kansas Historical Society in 1949. The ulna of a large mammal was sharpened and polished to make the awl. Awls were used as a perforating tool in soft materials, like hides, and possibly in basket and pottery manufacture.


Bone Awl from the Aerhart Site, 14OT305

Bone Awl from the Aerhart Site, 14OT305
Date: 1000-1400 CE
This burned bone awl was collected from the Aerhart site in 1934 and donated in 1971 to the Kansas Historical Society. The Aerhart site, in Ottawa County, has a Smoky Hill phase occupation with one circular house with an entryway to the southeast. Awls were used as a perforating tool in soft materials, like hides, and possibly in basket and pottery manufacture.


Bone Awl from the Country Club Site, 14CO3

Bone Awl from the Country Club Site, 14CO3
Date: 1400-1725 CE
This bone awl, refit from three pieces, was excavated from a Great Bend aspect (ancestral Wichita) village in Cowley County during Phase IV archeological investigations in 1995. Awls such as this one are usually made from deer bone. They were used to make holes in soft material, like hides, and possibly in basket and pottery manufacturing. The site had been much impacted by a water line, golf greens, roads, and highways. Excavations had been occurring at the site since 1916.


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