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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 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 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.


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.


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: 1790-1830
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.


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."


Trade Beads from 14LV334

Trade Beads from 14LV334
Date: 1800-1900
These five glass beads were collected from a multicomponent site overlooking the Missouri River in Leavenworth County. Beads such as these were widely traded until the 1850s. The four blue beads of various sizes are faceted. The green bead fragment is made of drawn glass and is round with flat ends. The site, with occupations in the Middle Ceramic and Historic periods, may have once been a Kickapoo habitation site in addition to later habitations.


Trade Beads from Fort Zarah, 14BT301

Trade Beads from Fort Zarah, 14BT301
Date: 1864-1869
These pink trade beads were excavated at Fort Zarah in 1969 by Kansas Historical Society archeologists. The small pink beads are in a wheel or rondelle style. The fort was a small outpost on the Santa Fe trail in Barton County occupied from 1864 to 1869. The trading post, where these beads were located, burned in 1868.


Trade Beads from Kaw Mission, 14MO368

Trade Beads from Kaw Mission, 14MO368
Date: 1840-1870
These trade beads were recovered during excavations at the 2016 and 2018 Kansas Archeology Training Program field schools at the Kaw Mission in Council Grove. Shown are blue, amber, and white glass trade beads in round, faceted, and oblong shapes. The Mission was built over the winter of 1850 - 1851 by the Methodist Episcopal Church South as a school for boys in the Kaw (or Kansa) tribe. The site was acquired by the state of Kansas in 1951 and it was listed in 1971 to the National Register of Historic Places.


Trade Beads from the Baker Store, 14MO701

Trade Beads from the Baker Store, 14MO701
Date: 1862
These blue and turquoise colored glass beads were recovered from the Baker Store in Morris County by the Emporia State Teacher's College (now Emporia State University) archeology field school in 1973. Trade beads were originally exchanged with Native Americans for goods. They are still being manufactured today for use in beadwork. The Baker Store artifact collection was donated to the Kansas Historical Society in 1993. The Baker Store and nearby house, situated along the Santa Fe trail, were burned in 1862 by "Bloody Bill" Anderson and his cohorts. The owner, A. I. Baker, was murdered at that time.


Trade Beads from the Canville Trading Post, 14NO396

Trade Beads from the Canville Trading Post, 14NO396
Date: 1847-1872
An assortment of trade beads were found at the Canville Trading Post in Neosho County near the Osage Reservation. They were donated to the Kansas Historical Society in 1994. They include round, barrel-shaped, flat, and long beads made mostly from glass, but also from brass. The Canville Trading Post was established in 1847 by A. B. Canville. When the Osage reservation land was ceded to the United States in 1870, the Osage left for Oklahoma and Canville followed in 1872.


Trade Beads from the Canville Trading Post, 14NO396

Trade Beads from the Canville Trading Post, 14NO396
Date: 1847-1872
An assortment of trade beads were found at the Canville Trading Post in Neosho County near the Osage Reservation. They were donated to the Kansas Historical Society in 1994. The small white and turquoise colored glass beads are in a wheel or rondelle style. The larger beads are round. The Canville Trading Post was established in 1847 by A. B. Canville. When the Osage reservation land was ceded to the United States in 1870, the Osage left for Oklahoma and Canville followed in 1872.


Trade Beads from the Canville Trading Post, 14NO396

Trade Beads from the Canville Trading Post, 14NO396
Date: 1847-1872
An assortment of trade beads were found at the Canville Trading Post in Neosho County near the Osage Reservation. They were donated to the Kansas Historical Society in 1994. The oblong white and white with turquoise beads are made of glass. The Canville Trading Post was established in 1847 by A. B. Canville. When the Osage reservation land was ceded to the United States in 1870, the Osage left for Oklahoma and Canville followed in 1872.


Trade Beads from the Tobias Site, 14RC8

Trade Beads from the Tobias Site, 14RC8
Date: 1400-1700 CE
Shown are three trade beads excavated during the 1978 Kansas Archeology Training Program field school at the Tobias site in Rice County. Two of the beads are made of glass, a faceted bead fragment of blue glass and a complete round turquoise colored glass bead. The other bead is disc-shaped and made of turquoise. 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.


Turquoise Bead from the Thompson Gardens Site, 14CO1509

Turquoise Bead from the Thompson Gardens Site, 14CO1509
Date: 1400-1700 CE
This turquoise bead was recovered from the Thompson Gardens site in Cowley County during excavations by Kansas Historical Society archeologists and crew in 1995. Turquoise is not common at Kansas archeological sites and this bead reflects trade with the southwest. The site has a variety of distinctive stone, ceramic, and bone tools that are part of a set of characteristics that archeologists call the Great Bend aspect. The people that inhabited Great Bend aspect sites are ancestral to the Wichita and affiliated tribes.


Turquoise Beads from the Havelock Site, 14CO332

Turquoise Beads from the Havelock Site, 14CO332
Date: 1400-1700 CE
These turquoise beads were recovered from the Havelock site in Cowley County during excavations by Kansas Historical Society archeologists and crew in 1995. Turquoise is not common at Kansas archeological sites and these beads reflect trade with the southwest. The site, with the remains of grass thatched houses and a variety of distinctive stone, ceramic, and bone tools, are part of a set of characteristics that archeologists call the Great Bend aspect, which existed between 1400-1700 CE in central and south-central Kansas. The people that inhabited Great Bend aspect sites are ancestral to the Wichita and affiliated tribes.


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