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Objects and Artifacts - Archeological Artifacts - Artifact Type - Spatula

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Bone Knife from the Minneapolis Site, 14OT5

Bone Knife from the Minneapolis Site, 14OT5
Date: 1232-1409 CE
This bone knife was recovered from the Minneapolis archeological site in Ottawa County during excavation in 1934 and was donated to the Kansas Historical Society in 1987. The Minneapolis site was a Smoky Hill Aspect village occupied during the Middle Ceramic time period. Bone knives like this one have been called squash knives, cleavers, or spatulas. They were crafted from a bison scapula (shoulder blade) and would have been used to slice soft plant materials.


Bone Knives from the Minneapolis Site, 14OT5

Bone Knives from the Minneapolis Site, 14OT5
Date: 1232-1409 CE
These bone knives were recovered from the Minneapolis archeological site in Ottawa County during excavation in 1934 and were donated to the Kansas Historical Society in 1987. They have also been called squash knives, cleavers, or spatulas. They were crafted from a bison scapula (shoulder blade) and would have been used to slice soft plant materials. The Minneapolis site was a Smoky Hill aspect village occupied during the Middle Ceramic time period.


Bone Spatulas from El Cuartelejo, 14SC1

Bone Spatulas from El Cuartelejo, 14SC1
Date: 1650-1750 CE
Shown are three bone spatulas 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. The bone spatulas were recovered during the 1976 Kansas Archeology Training Program. Spatula-like tools were used in basketry or pottery manufacture or even food preparation. The largest shown here was made from a bison rib and is heavily worn.


Repurposed Bone Tools from the Sharps Creek Site, 14MP408

Repurposed Bone Tools from the Sharps Creek Site, 14MP408
Date: 1500-1800 CE
These two modified bone tools were recovered in 1968 by Kansas Historical Society archeologists at the Paint Creek village in McPherson County. Both of these tools were once scapula hoes. After breaking, the fragment on the left was repurposed into a spatula-like tool. After the tool on the right broke the edges were rasped off and a series of notches were created along the edge. This tool may have been used to decorate pottery, though if so it has seen little use. 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.


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