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Objects and Artifacts - Archeological Artifacts - Material/Stone Type - Sandstone

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Abrader from 14HV301

Abrader from 14HV301
Date: 1000-1500 CE
This sandstone abrader was recovered from a Middle Ceramic period site in Harvey County. Archeologists call abraders groundstone tools as they are shaped by grinding. This sandstone abrader has been used to sharpen another tool, such as a bone needle or awl.


Abraders from 14SA409

Abraders from 14SA409
Date: 1-1500 CE
These three abraders were recovered from the surface of a Saline County camp site and donated to the Kansas Historical Society in 2017. The site was occupied during the Upper Republican and Smoky Hill phases in the Early and Middle Ceramic periods. 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.


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 Kohr Site, 14SA414

Abraders from the Kohr Site, 14SA414
Date: 780-860 CE
These abraders were collected in the 1930s from Kohr House No. 1, a large village site in Saline County and donated to the Kansas Historical Society in 1971. 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. All four artifacts were made of Dakota sandstone. The two on the bottom row are in the process of manufacture, enabling us to see how they were made. 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.


Abraders from the Lamar Site, 14OT304

Abraders from the Lamar Site, 14OT304
Date: 1000-1400 CE
These three abraders were excavated in 1935 from the Lamar site in Ottawa County and donated to the Kansas Historical Society in 1971. The Smoky Hill phase occupation site had a single, almost square, house and four cache pits. 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.


Abraders from the Nulik Site, 14SR305

Abraders from the Nulik Site, 14SR305
Date: 1000-1500 CE
These four abrader fragments were recovered during excavations by Kansas Historical Society archeologists at the Nulik site in Sumner 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. The excavations revealed a Great Bend aspect (ancestral Wichita) house and associated midden (refuse heap or mound).


Abraders from the Tobias Site, 14RC8

Abraders from the Tobias Site, 14RC8
Date: 1400-1700 CE
Shown are four abraders recovered from the excavations during the 2019 Kansas Archeology Training Program field school at the Tobias site in Rice County. Archeologists call these abraders 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 other items. 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. It is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.


Abraders from the Tobias Site, 14RC8

Abraders from the Tobias Site, 14RC8
Date: 1400-1700 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, house remains, and numerous deep trash-filled storage pits. It is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.


Abraders from the Wullschleger Site, 14MH301

Abraders from the Wullschleger Site, 14MH301
Date: 1-1800 CE
These three Dakota sandstone abraders were collected from the Wullschleger 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.


Central Plains tradition Abrader from the Wollenberg Site, 14WH319

Central Plains tradition Abrader from the Wollenberg Site, 14WH319
Date: 1280-1400 CE
This abrader was recovered from the Wollenberg village in Washington County in 1991. Archeologists call abraders groundstone tools as they are shaped by grinding. This sandstone abrader has been used to sharpen another tool, such as a bone needle or awl.


Central Plains tradition Abraders from the Wollenberg Site, 14WH319

Central Plains tradition Abraders from the Wollenberg Site, 14WH319
Date: 1280-1400 CE
These three abraders were recovered from the Wollenberg village in Washington County in 1991. 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.


Digging Stick Weights from the Tobias Site, 14RC8

Digging Stick Weights from the Tobias Site, 14RC8
Date: 1400-1700 CE
These two Dakota sandstone artifacts have a "Doughnut" or torus shape. Archeologists think artifacts like these were used as spindle whorls in indicate a well-developed fiber technology. They were recovered from excavations during the 1977 and 1978 Kansas Archeology Training Program field schools at the Tobias site in Rice County. The Tobias site is a Great Bend aspect (ancestral Wichita) village site 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.


Fossil Leaf from the Tobias Site, 14RC8

Fossil Leaf from the Tobias Site, 14RC8
Date: 1400-1600 CE
This imprint of a leaf on Dakota Sandstone was created long before people occupied the Tobias site, a Great Bend aspect (ancestral Wichita) village that had dense artifact deposits, house remains, and numerous deep trash-filled storage pits. The site was the focus of excavations during the 1977 and 1978 Kansas Archeology Training Program field schools. It is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.


Fully-Grooved Axe from Marshall County

Fully-Grooved Axe from Marshall County
Date: Unknown
This fully-grooved axe was found near Beattie, Kansas in Marshall County. The axe, used as a woodworking tool, was donated to the Kansas Historical Society in 1929. Axes like these are made by pecking a hard stone into a rough shape and then grinding and polishing it into its final state. They get their name from the hafting groove, which fully encircles the axe body.


Metate Fragment from the Country Club Site, 14CO3

Metate Fragment from the Country Club Site, 14CO3
Date: 1400-1725 CE
A metate or grinding slab is the lowermost millstone for grinding foods or pigments by hand. They are different shapes and sizes. This one 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.


Petroglyphs from 14EW305

Petroglyphs from 14EW305
Date: 1978
Shown are four slides of some of the petroglyphs at 14EW305 in Ellsworth County. They were on boulders that had spalled off of a sandstone bluff. Documented in 1978, the site has circular glyphs, an anthropomorphic glyph, rectangular holes that form an unrecognizable curvilinear glyph, and modern graffiti.


Petroglyphs from the Indian Hill Site, 14EW1

Petroglyphs from the Indian Hill Site, 14EW1
Date: 1867-1984
The Indian Hill site is a series of petroglyphs on an outcrop of Dakota sandstone. They were first photographed in 1867 by Alexander Gardner. Carlyle Smith, noted archaeologist and anthropologist from the University of Kansas, suggested in 1949 that the Cheyenne or Arapaho may have created some of the later glyphs, particularily those representing horses. The petroglyphs depict owls, bison, beaver, cervids, humans, equestrian figures, bison tracks, thunderbirds, serpintine figures, and ladder-like figures. In more recent time, grafitti and vandalism have been added.


Petroglyphs from the Rocky Springs Site, 14RU317

Petroglyphs from the Rocky Springs Site, 14RU317
Date: 1980
These slides of petroglyphs from the Rocky Springs site in Russell County were taken in 1980. The site has two rock panels with glyphs that represent a possible deer, a group of people shooting with bows and arrows, and modern graffiti. It is not known how old the petroglyphs are or who created them. The images were created by incising, scratching, pecking, or abrading the rock face.


Petroglyphs from the Russell Site, 14RU313

Petroglyphs from the Russell Site, 14RU313
Date: 1956-1965
These five slides show different views of petroglyphs from the Russell site in Russell County taken in 1956, 1957 and 1965. They show researchers and archeologists examining the site's glyph along the sandstone bluff face. The site has six areas of petroglyphs depicting turkey tracks, bear tracks, horse hoof prints, arrow glyphs, a large buffalo glyph superimposed with anthropomorphic glyphs, other anthropomorphic glyphs, equestrian glyphs, spatulate and circular glyphs, "rayed" circular glyphs and quadrupeds. The site has a remarkable glyph that appears to be wearing quilted armor in addition to other anthropomorphic figures in headdresses. Traces of red, and possibly blue and black, pigment could be seen at the petroglyph site. Additionally the site has been vandalized with modern graffiti, riddled with shotgun pellets, had entire glyphs removed and been gouged by tree branches.


Possible Gaming Stones from the Tobias Site, 14RC8

Possible Gaming Stones from the Tobias Site, 14RC8
Date: 1400-1700 CE
These shaped Dakota sandstone artifacts may have once been used as gaming stones or had another unknown purpose. They were collected from the excavations during the 1977 and 1978 Kansas Archeology Training Program field schools at the Tobias site in Rice County. 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. It is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.


Sandstone Bead Fragment from the Tobias Site, 14RC8

Sandstone Bead Fragment from the Tobias Site, 14RC8
Date: 1400-1700 CE
This sandstone bead fragment was recovered during the 1977 Kansas Archeology Training Program at the Tobias site in Rice County. The bead had been carved from Dakota sandstone. 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.


Sandstone Celt from 14SA408

Sandstone Celt from 14SA408
Date: 1000-1500 CE
This unusual sandstone celt was recovered from the surface of a Smoky Hill aspect camp site in Saline County and donated in 2017 to the Kansas Historical Society. A celt is a polished ungrooved axe, often shaped like a chisel. Generally Archeologists assume celts were used as woodworking tools, but this specimen, made of Dakota sandstone, would not have function well for that purpose. The celt is 128.11mm in length and its largest girth is 13.25mm. The artifact shows some scarring by farm machinery.


Scrapers from the Saxman Site, 14RC301

Scrapers from the Saxman Site, 14RC301
Date: 1500-1650 CE
Shown are five of the numerous scrapers that were collected from the Saxman site in Rice County and donated to the Kansas Historical Society in 2017. The scrapers would have been hafted on a handle and used to scrape hides. They would have required periodic resharpening. The small brown scraper was made of Smoky Hill silicified chalk, which outcrops in western Kansas and Nebraska. The others were made of Permian chert, two of which were heat treated to improve their knapping qualities. The Saxman site, a large Great Bend aspect village, was occupied by the ancestral Wichita.


Spindle Whorl or Fly Wheel from the Stricker Site, 14DP1319

Spindle Whorl or Fly Wheel from the Stricker Site, 14DP1319
Date: Unknown
This partial sandstone spindle whorl was collected from a multicomponent (multiple occupations) site in Doniphan County and donated in 2018 to the Kansas Historical Society. The site had occupations from the Archaic through the Historic periods. This spindle whorl was from one of the older time periods. The artifact is made on sandstone and was smoothed with a hole drilled in the center. The artifact was likely used for either spinning yarn or to help in drilling holes. Often times, artifacts are not as revealing as Archeologists would like.


Stone Disc from the Killdeer Site, 14CO501

Stone Disc from the Killdeer Site, 14CO501
Date: 1400-1725 CE
This sandstone disc may have been used in a rolling game. It was recovered during the 1994 Kansas Archeology Training Program field school at the Killdeer site, since destroyed by construction. The Killdeer site was a Lower Walnut focus Great Bend aspect (ancestral Wichita) site in Cowley County with numerous pits, basins and post molds.


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