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Objects and Artifacts - Archeological Artifacts - Artifact Type - Awl

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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.


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.


Bone Awl from the Fanning Site, 14DP1

Bone Awl from the Fanning Site, 14DP1
Date: 1500-1800 CE
The wear on the tip of this bone tool suggests it may have been used as an awl in hide work and basketry. It was collected from a cache at the Fanning site in Doniphan County in 1939 and donated to the Kansas Historical Society in 1981. The Fanning site is a protohistoric period Kansa village.


Bone Awl from the Kermit Hayes No. 1 Site, 14RC3

Bone Awl from the Kermit Hayes No. 1 Site, 14RC3
Date: 1500-1800 CE
This complete bone awl was just one of many bone tools that were recovered during excavation in 1995 at the Kermit Hayes No. 1 site. 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 artifacts were donated in 2007 to the Kansas Historical Society. The site, atop a ridge in Rice County, was a Great Bend aspect (ancestral Wichita) village. It is part of an Archaeological District for the National Registration of Historic Places and is a National Historic Landmark.


Bone Awl from the Lundeen Site, 14MD306

Bone Awl from the Lundeen Site, 14MD306
Date: 1237-1435 CE
This bone awl was recovered during excavations at the Kansas Archeological Training Program in 1998. It was found in Meade County at the Lundeen site, a Middle Ceramic period camp site that was part of Wilmore Complex. The awl was made from a medipodial of a deer or antelope and used as a perforating tool.


Bone Awl from the Markley Site, 14OT308

Bone Awl from the Markley Site, 14OT308
Date: 1000-1500 CE
This complete bone awl was recovered from House 1 at the Markley site, a Smoky Hill Phase occupation site containing two or more houses. 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.


Bone Awl from the Nulik Site, 14SR305

Bone Awl from the Nulik Site, 14SR305
Date: 1000-1500 CE
This complete bone awl was recovered during excavations by Kansas Historical Society archeologists at the Nulik site in Sumner County. The awl was made from a heavily modified deer metapodial and used as a perforating tool in soft material, like hides, or possibly in basket and pottery manufacturing. The excavations in 1969 revealed a Great Bend aspect (ancestral Wichita) house and associated midden (refuse heap or mound).


Bone Awl from the Shrope Site, 14CO331

Bone Awl from the Shrope Site, 14CO331
Date: 1400-1725 CE
This bone awl was recovered from the Shrope village site in Cowley County. 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 the manufacturing of baskets and pottery. 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.


Bone Awl from the Thompson Site, 14RC9

Bone 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. 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 occupied during the Late Ceramic Period.


Bone Awl from the Tobias Site, 14RC8

Bone Awl from the Tobias Site, 14RC8
Date: 1400-1700 CE
This bone awl was recovered from excavations during the 1978 Kansas Archeology Training Program field school at the Tobias site in Rice County. 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.


Bone Awls from 14SA1

Bone Awls from 14SA1
Date: 1000-1500 CE
These two bone awls were excavated between 1936 to 1940 at the Whiteford/Price Archeological site, a Middle Ceramic Period village in Saline County. The site was occupied by people ancestral to the Pawnee tribe. The artifacts were donated to the Kansas Historical Society in 1971. Awls such as these are usually made of deer bone. They were used to make holes in soft material, like hides, and possibly in basket and pottery manufacture.


Bone Awls from the Anthony Site, 14HP1

Bone Awls from the Anthony Site, 14HP1
Date: 1100-1300 CE
These two bone awls were recovered from the Anthony site in Harper County. Awls such as these were usually made from deer bone. They were used to make holes in soft material, like hides, and possibly in basket and pottery manufacturing. 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.


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.


Bone Awls from the Saxman Site, 14RC301

Bone Awls from the Saxman Site, 14RC301
Date: 1500-1650 CE
These twelve bone awls were recovered from the Saxman site in Rice County and donated to the Kansas Historical Society in 2016. Awls such as these are usually made from deer bone. One awl is indeed made from the left ulna of a deer. They were used to make holes in soft material, like hides, and possibly in basket and pottery manufacturing. The Saxman site, a large Great Bend aspect village, was occupied by the ancestral Wichita peoples.


Bone Awls from the Tobias Site, 14RC8

Bone Awls from the Tobias Site, 14RC8
Date: 1400-1700 CE
These bone awls were excavated during the 2019 Kansas Archeology Training Program field school at the Tobias site in Rice County. Awls are 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.


Bone Needle and Awls from the Tobias Site, 14RC8

Bone Needle and Awls from the Tobias Site, 14RC8
Date: 1400-1700 CE
This bone needle and four awls were recovered from the Tobias site in Rice County and donated to the Kansas Historical Society in 2020. Needles and awls typically were made from bone splinters, then sharpened and polished. They were used to make holes in soft material, like hides, and possibly in basket and pottery manufacturing and applying tattoos. The Tobias site is a Great Bend aspect village that had dense artifact deposits, house remains and numerous deep trash-filled storage pits. The people that inhabited Great Bend aspect sites are ancestral to the Wichita and affiliated tribes. The site is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.


Coyote Bone Awl from the Crandall Site, 14RC420

Coyote Bone Awl from the Crandall Site, 14RC420
Date: 1500-1800 CE
This bone awl, made from a coyote ulna, was recovered from the Crandall site in Rice County during the 1983 Kansas Archeology Training Program. The awl was used to make holes in soft materials, like hides, and possibly in basket and pottery manufacturing. The Crandall site is a Late Ceramic period site occupied by Great Bend aspect (ancestral Wichita) peoples.


Deer Bone Awl from the Tobias Site, 14RC8

Deer Bone Awl from the Tobias Site, 14RC8
Date: 1400-1700 CE
This awl was recovered from a rodent hole near the surface at the Tobias site, a Great Bend aspect (ancestral Wichita) village in Rice County. This awl was made of a deer cannon or metacarpal bone. 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.


Munkers Creek Knives, Gouges and Bone Awl from the William Young Site, 14MO304

Munkers Creek Knives, Gouges and Bone Awl from the William Young Site, 14MO304
Date: 4250-2850 BCE
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 Archeologists thought people left the Plains. Munkers Creek artifacts show that people stayed, but they may have chosen their habitats carefully. Munkers Creek knives, like these from the William Young site (14MO304) in Morris County, are interesting in that many have a clearly visible gloss along one side that comes from grass stems. They may have been used to cut grass to thatch houses or for other purposes. Gouges were likely used to modify wood and bone. Bone awls were used to make holes in soft material or perhaps in basket manufacturing.


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