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

Bison Scapula Hoe Fragments from the Sharps Creek Site, 14MP408
Date: 1500-1800 CE
These three bison scapula hoe fragments were recovered in 1968 by Kansas Historical Society archeologists at the Sharps 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 Sharps 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 CE
These bison scapula hoe fragments were collected from the Tobias site in Rice County and donated in 1925 to the Kansas Historical Society. To make hoes such as these, 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 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 Anthony Site, 14HP1

Bison Scapula Hoes from the Anthony Site, 14HP1
Date: 1100-1300 CE
These two bison scapula hoe fragments were recovered from the Anthony site in Harper County. To make a 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 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.


Bison Scapula Hoes from the Crandall Site, 14RC420

Bison Scapula Hoes from the Crandall Site, 14RC420
Date: 1500-1800 CE
These three hoes were recovered during excavations in 1983 at the Crandall site. 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 Crandall site is a Late Ceramic period camp site in Rice County occupied by Great Bend aspect (ancestral Wichita) peoples.


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 Hoes from the Wells Site, 14BT404

Bison Scapula Hoes from the Wells Site, 14BT404
Date: 1650-1750 CE
These bison scapula hoe fragments were collected from the Wells village site in Barton County and donated to the Kansas Historical Society in 2021. The makers of 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 village site had an abundance of artifacts that reflect not only a Dismal River aspect occupation (1650 - 1750 CE) but also a historic component.


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.


Chipped Stone Hoe from Atchison County

Chipped Stone Hoe from Atchison County
Date: Unknown
This stunning chipped stone hoe was donated to the Kansas Historical Society in 1964. It was bought by the donor in 1933 and it was noted at the time that it likely was originally found near Atchison, Kansas. The hoe would have likely been hafted to a handle and is highly polished. One side bears the donor's notes.


Hoe Blade from Blue Earth Village, 14PO24

Hoe Blade from Blue Earth Village, 14PO24
Date: 1795-1830
This broken hoe blade 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. Iron hoes were used for heavy duty garden and field work. Many lodge depressions were still visible on the surface of the village in the 1880s.


Modified Bone Tool

Modified Bone Tool
Date: 1000 CE-1800
This modified bone tool was recovered from a site in Edwards County and donated to the Kansas Historical Society in 1995. Originally it was likely either a deer or bison scapula that was modified into a hoe. At some point the hoe broke and this piece was then modified into a scraping too, as is evidenced by the beveled edge. The donor of the piece may have varnished the tool. There are also fibers adhering to the back of the tool.


Scapula Hoe

Scapula Hoe
Date: Unknown
This scapula hoe was donated to the Kansas Historical Society in 1961. 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 hoe shows edge wear and use polish in addition to an end heavily treated with glue by the donor to eliminate bone crumbling. The hoe was made from the right scapula of a bison, or more likely an elk.


Scapula Hoe Fragment from El Cuartelejo, 14SC1

Scapula Hoe Fragment from El Cuartelejo, 14SC1
Date: 1650-1750 CE
This bison scapula hoe fragment was recovered from the El Cuartelejo site in Scott County during the 1970 Kansas Archeology Training Program field school. Before the hoe broke, 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 drilled hole was likely added after it broke, either as a lace hole for repair or for repurposing as an ornament. 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.


Scapula Hoe Fragment from the Minneapolis Site, 14OT5

Scapula Hoe Fragment from the Minneapolis Site, 14OT5
Date: 1232-1409 CE
This bison scapula hoe fragment 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 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. Later the hoe began to split and holes were drilled to lace the hoe together so that it might continue to be used. One such hole remains. The Minneapolis site represents a village of the Smoky Hill aspect peoples during the Middle Ceramic time period.


Shell Hoe from 14SA402

Shell Hoe from 14SA402
Date: 1000-1500 CE
Shell hoes are a rare find at Kansas archeology sites. This artifact was recovered in 1963 from a Saline County site and donated to the Kansas Historical Society in 2017. The mussel shell was perforated in the center and this hole served as a mount for the handle. The hoe shows grinding and polish on the working edge.


Shell Hoes from Archeological Site 14SA415

Shell Hoes from Archeological Site 14SA415
Date: 1200-1299 CE
These gardening hoes were recovered from excavations at archeological site 14SA415 in the 1970s and donated to the Kansas Historical Society in 2020. The hoes were made of local mussel shells and show use wear on the edges. The mussel shells were perforated in the center and these holes served as mounts for the handles. They were recovered from a Smoky Hill phase lodge at the site occupied during the Middle Ceramic period in Saline County.


Shell Hoes from the Aerhart Site, 14OT5

Shell Hoes from the Aerhart Site, 14OT5
Date: 1000-1400 CE
These two shell hoes were 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. Each of the shells came from a Washboard mussel. The mussel shell was perforated in the center and this hole served as a mount for the handle.


Shell Hoes from the Kohr Site, 14SA414

Shell Hoes from the Kohr Site, 14SA414
Date: 780-860 CE
These four shell hoes were collected in the 1930s from a cache in Kohr House No. 1 at a large village site in Saline County. They were donated to the Kansas Historical Society in 1971. All four hoes are from the species Magalonaias giganta or of the Washboard mussel. The mussel shells were perforated in the center and these holes served as a mount for the handles. 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.


Shell Hoes from the Markley Site, 14OT308

Shell Hoes from the Markley Site, 14OT308
Date: 1000-1500 CE
These shell hoes were collected from House 1 at the Markley site, a Smoky Hill Phase occupation site containing two or more houses. The collection was donated in 1971 to the Kansas Historical Society. Shell hoes are a rare find at Kansas archeology sites. The mussel shell was perforated in the center and this hole served as a mount for the handle.


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