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Beads from Constitution Hall, 14DO321

Beads from Constitution Hall, 14DO321
Date: 1855-1980
These glass, wood, and plastic beads in assorted shapes and colors were recovered during excavations at Constitution Hall in Lecompton. The hall was constructed in 1855 and functioned in a variety of different roles. Constitution Hall was named a National Historical Landmark for its role in the 1857 Lecompton Constitution. The building is also listed in the National Register of Historic Places and as a National Historic Landmark.


Beads from the 102 Steel Point Site, 14MO414

Beads from the 102 Steel Point Site, 14MO414
Date: 1847-1874 CE
These three beads were recovered from a site in Morris County during a 2006 survey by a Kansas Historical Society archeologist and Kansas Anthropological Association volunteers. The site had multiple occupations from the Archaic period to the late 1800s. The site may have been one of three Kansa sites along the Neosho River. All three of the beads are made of glass. Two are hexagonal shaped, one blue the other clear. The third bead is dark green and faceted.


Beads from the Country Club Site, 14CO3

Beads from the Country Club Site, 14CO3
Date: 1400 CE-1725
These three beads, each manufactured on a different material, were excavated from a Great Bend aspect village site 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. One bead was made out of a crinoid fossil, perhaps found locally. Another is a white barrel shaped trade glass bead. The final bead is flat shaped and made of turquoise from the southwest.


Beads from the Forrest Site, 14PA303

Beads from the Forrest Site, 14PA303
Date: 500-1100 CE
These bone and shell beads were recovered at the Forrest site, a Keith phase site in Pawnee County during excavations by Kansas Historical Society and University of Kansas archeologists in 1967. The flat disk bead was cut from a mussel shell and drilled. The bone beads were made from small animal bones. 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. The site was occupied sometime between 500 and 1100 CE. The people who lived here were semi-sedentary hunters and gatherers.


Beads from the Hollenberg Pony Express Station, 14WH316

Beads from the Hollenberg Pony Express Station, 14WH316
Date: 1857-1941
These beads were recovered from the 1991 Kansas Archeology Training Program field school at the Hollenberg Pony Express Station in Washington County. Some are likely trade beads that were widely traded until the 1850s, while others may have been deposited at the site much later. The site was the location of a pony express station, a stop on the Oregon-California trail, a post office, a blacksmith shop, and a farm with barns and other outbuildings. The site was purchased by the Kansas Legislature in 1941 and is in the National Register of Historic Places.


Beads from the Hollenberg Pony Express Station, 14WH316

Beads from the Hollenberg Pony Express Station, 14WH316
Date: 1857-1941
These beads were recovered from the 1991 Kansas Archeology Training Program field school at the Hollenberg Pony Express Station in Washington County. Some are likely trade beads that were widely traded until the 1850s, while others may have been deposited at the site much later. The site was the location of a pony express station, a stop on the Oregon-California trail, a post office, a blacksmith shop, and a farm with barns and other outbuildings. The site was purchased by the Kansas Legislature in 1941 and is in the National Register of Historic Places.


Beads from the Hollenberg Pony Express Station, 14WH316

Beads from the Hollenberg Pony Express Station, 14WH316
Date: 1857-1941
These beads were recovered from the 1991 Kansas Archeology Training Program field school at the Hollenberg Pony Express Station in Washington County. Some are likely trade beads that were widely traded until the 1850s, while others may have been deposited at the site much later. The site was the location of a pony express station, a stop on the Oregon-California trail, a post office, a blacksmith shop, and a farm with barns and other out buildings. The site was purchased by the Kansas Legislature in 1941 and is in the National Register of Historic Places.


Beads from the Mahaffie Farmstead and Stagecoach Stop

Beads from the Mahaffie Farmstead and Stagecoach Stop
Date: 1858-1886
These two beads were recovered at excavations in 1988 during a joint venture between Kansas Historical Society archeologists, Kansas Anthropological Association volunteers, and the City of Olathe. Both beads are oblong and red, but the darker red bead may be manufactured of wood, while the brighter red bead may be of glass. It is difficult to tell the materials without harming the bead. The site consisted of the residence and out buildings built by James and Lucinda Mahaffie in 1858. The farmstead later served as a stagecoach stop on the Santa Fe trail.


Bone Beads from the Sharps Creek Site, 14MP408

Bone Beads from the Sharps Creek Site, 14MP408
Date: 1500-1800 CE
Shown are four bone beads recovered from the Sharps Creek site, a Great Bend aspect (ancestral Wichita) village in McPherson County. The beads were made from a section of bird bone. They were scored, then cut or snapped, and finally had their edges smoothed, to form the tabular beads. The shortest bead was recovered during excavations at the 1993 Kansas Archeology Training program field school and the other three were donated to the Kansas Historical Society in 1993.


Brass Beads from the Curry Site, 14GR301

Brass Beads from the Curry Site, 14GR301
Date: 1200-1600 CE
These 13 brass beads were 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. These beads, similar to a Rondelle shape, were likely traded for other goods.


Clay Beads from the Tobias Site, 14RC8

Clay Beads from the Tobias Site, 14RC8
Date: 1400-1700 CE
These clay beads were excavated during the 1978 Kansas Archeology Training Program field school at the Tobias site in Rice County. Clay beads are made using a small clay bead blank with the hollow center either perforated prior to firing or drilled after firing. The Tobias site is a Great Bend aspect (ancestral Wichita) village that has dense artifact deposits, house remains, and numerous deep trash-filled storage pits. The site is listed in the National Register of Historic Places.


Glass Bead and Turquoise Colored Glass from the Fanning Site, 14DP1

Glass Bead and Turquoise Colored Glass from the Fanning Site, 14DP1
Date: 1500-1700 CE
These turquoise colored glass artifacts, one a bead and the other a melted fragment, were recovered from the Fanning site in Doniphan County and donated to the Kansas Historical Society in 1981. The melted fragment may have once formed a bead similar to the one shown. Beads such as this were widely traded until the 1850s. The Fanning site was a Late Ceramic to early Contact period Kansa village.


Glass Beads from the Martin Farmstead, 14RP322

Glass Beads from the Martin Farmstead, 14RP322
Date: 1885-1947
These two beads were the only beads recovered from the Martin Farmstead in Republic County. Both beads were found near the wrap around porch of the house. The rose colored bead is made of wound glass. The other glass bead has a brown and grey swirl pattern. Due to impending highway construction, the site was the location of an archeological salvage project in 1992 and is representative of the lifestyle of rural Kansans and Americans of the late 19th- to early 20th-centuries.


Glass Trade Bead from Morris County

Glass Trade Bead from Morris County
Date: 1600-1860
Shown is a turquoise colored round glass trade bead found on the former Kaw/Kansa reservation in Morris County in 1989. Beads such as this were widely traded until the 1850s.


Glass Trade Beads from Pawnee Indian Village, 14RP1

Glass Trade Beads from Pawnee Indian Village, 14RP1
Date: 1770-1802
These glass trade beads were recovered from the Pawnee Indian Village site in Republic County during 1965 and 1966 archeological investigations by Kansas Historical Society archeologists. Beads such as this were widely traded until the 1850s. The Pawnee Indian Village is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. A museum was built over one of the lodges that was then excavated, leaving the exposed floor visible.


Glass Trade Beads from Pawnee Indian Village, 14RP1

Glass Trade Beads from Pawnee Indian Village, 14RP1
Date: 1770-1802
These 274 glass barrel-shaped trade beads were recovered from the Pawnee Indian Village site in Republic County. They were excavated during 1965 archeological investigations by Kansas Historical Society archeologists. Beads such as these were widely traded until the 1850s. The Pawnee Indian Village is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. A museum was built over one of the lodges that was excavated, leaving the exposed floor visible.


Jewelry from the Martindale Cabin, 14GR332

Jewelry from the Martindale Cabin, 14GR332
Date: 1857-1930
These five jewelry pieces were recovered from the Martindale Cabin in Greenwood County. Shown are a gold-plated brass bowtie, possibly for a stick pin, and four beads: a round orange glass or plastic bead, a faceted black glass bead, a faceted orange glass bead, and an oblong translucent bead. The Martindale Cabin was built of stone for William Martindale in 1857 and was occupied by the Martindale family until 1869. Later the cabin was used for both living and storage purposes.


Kaw Beaded Awl Holder

Kaw Beaded Awl Holder
Date: 1868-1873
This beaded awl holder, with the bone awl still inside, was donated to the Kansas Historical Society. It was given to the donor's mother by a member of the Kaw tribe. 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 case is made of buckskin and decorated with white, light blue, pink and dark blue beads in a spiral pattern.


Pendant and Bead from the Kohr Site, 14SA414

Pendant and Bead from the Kohr Site, 14SA414
Date: 780860 CE
This pendant fragment and bead, both made of shell, were collected in the 1930s from Kohr House No. 1 at a large village site in Saline County and donated to the Kansas Historical Society in 1971. 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.


Pipestone Bead from Blue Earth Village, 14PO24

Pipestone Bead from Blue Earth Village, 14PO24
Date: 1795-1830
This unusual pipestone bead was recovered from the Blue Earth village site and donated in 1986 to the Kansas Historical Society. Blue Earth village was a Kansa Indian village in Pottawatomie County. Many lodge depressions were still visible on the surface in the 1880s. The soft, fine grain material enabled the carver to shape and smooth the piece and drill a longitudinal hole through the bead.


Pony Bead from 14TO313

Pony Bead from 14TO313
Date: 1500-1800 CE
This bead was recovered from the surface of an archeological workshop site along the Saline River in Trego County during the 1997 Kansas Archeology Training Program field school. Beads that are 4.0mm to 4.5mm in length, like this one, are called "Pony" beads.


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.


Shell Beads from Riley County

Shell Beads from Riley County
Date: Unknown
These beads were collected in Riley County and donated to the Kansas Historical Society in 1984. The fragile beads were likely crafted from mussel shells.


Stone Object from the Radio Lane Site, 14CO385

Stone Object from the Radio Lane Site, 14CO385
Date: 1400-1725 CE
This water-worn perforated stone may have been used as a bead or have been a personal item of unknown function. It was recovered from the Radio Lane site in Cowley County. The site was a large Great Bend aspect (ancestral Wichita) village. Kansas Historical Society archeologists and crew excavated there during a Phase IV archeological investigation in 1995.


Trade Beads

Trade Beads
Date: 1800-1962
Trade beads such as these have often been used as currency in exchange for goods. These beads were donated to the Kansas Historical Society in 1962, but beads similar to these have been used since 1800. The barrel and round shaped glass beads are called Millefiori, an Italian word meaning "thousand flowers."


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