Shell and Bone

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Bow Only

Senior Member
Here is an old pic of some shells and bones I've found over the years. The second pic is of the shells since I put them in a case. The angle is terrible for that second pic, sorry about that. The shells are mostly columellas of whelk shells with a couple being "other" shell items. The shell trade was big in ancient times and these were found 1 hour from the coast. They were often used as awls and many were used as adornment. The acidic soil eats these up pretty fast so the ones I have are soft and deteriorated. A couple of the bigger pieces would have been interesting to see exactly what they were used for. The large piece in the center came from a Ft Walton mound.

The bones on the left are mostly deer leg bones and smaller mammal rib bones. They were cave finds and I could fill a room with them had I kept them. Their debris was everywhere. In the very center of the 2nd pic shows a smiley face. The nose of the face is drilled shell with the eyes being a bird bone and a historic trade bead. The mouth is a string of crinoid fossils from a cave in New Mexico. They weren't used by Native Americans as a necklace but I made them into one just to keep them together. Directly below the string of fossils is an animal tooth found on a Ft Walton period site. Hard to say if it was ancient, but I'm saying it is.

The bottom right of the first pic contains some tools that have never been identified. The state didn't know what they were and I don't either. I have about a dozen of them and they are 3 sided (triangular in cross section), heavily constructed gouge looking items. They are Woodland in origin and some even have 4 sides. They're not pretty but they were made for a particular purpose.

On a side note, at 8Ja65 in Marianna, FL, the archaeologists found evidence of fresh oysters being eaten. The Natives would put them in sacks in the bay and as they traveled up the Chipola River, they would leave them in the cold water while going North. That kept them fresh and would have been another trade item for the coastal people.
 

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kmckinnie

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Found a oyster shell arrow head in the north fla area. It came up missing in a military move. Along with my others at that time.

You ever seen anything like that.
 

Duff

Senior Member
BO, I may have posted these bones before, can’t remember. But I found these in dug out creek mud, along with lots of pottery shards. They are 3” long or so and still relatively sharp. They are as I found them. I’m assuming needles or punch???

Certainly don’t want to high jack your thread but wanted your thoughts on them. Thanks
 

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Thread starter #9

Bow Only

Senior Member
BO, I may have posted these bones before, can’t remember. But I found these in dug out creek mud, along with lots of pottery shards. They are 3” long or so and still relatively sharp. They are as I found them. I’m assuming needles or punch???

Certainly don’t want to high jack your thread but wanted your thoughts on them. Thanks
Bones were often broken like that to extract the marrow. When food was hard to come by, they ate everything they could. When made into a knife or punch, the ends of those bones often showed signs of sharpening. I don't see that in the picture. Great finds and artifacts from a time gone by. Most people would just discard them. Nice finds.
 

Duff

Senior Member
I agree with not being sharpened. Looks like they were simply cut on an angle with a knife/blade. Very smooth cut.

Interesting. Thanks!
 
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