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Mississippi Plain Male Human Effigy Vessel / Southeast, Mississippian

Essay/Description

Hump Backed Human Effigy Jar -- Male image of dark polished ware tempered with mussel shells, showing naked man sitting cross-legged, perforated ears. According to archaeologist, Kent Reilly, this figure may represent “the old woman who never dies” a mythic ancestor among Southeastern nations.

Bell Plain pottery type -- Bell Plain is prevalent at sites along the Mississippi River in Arkansas. It has finely crushed shell temper, a well-polished to highly polished surface, and varies in color from shades of gray to buff to orange (pp 10-12, Hathcock, Roy).

Curatorial Remarks

Mississippi Plain (Phillips 1970:146) male human effigy vessel in crossed-legged kneeled position. Figure appears to be wearing a mask with perforated ears. 10YR5/1 Gray.


Phillips, Philip. Archaeological Survey in the lower Yazoo Basin, Mississippi, 1949-1955. Vol. 60. Papers of the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology. Cambridge, MA: Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, 1970.

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Title(s): 
Mississippi Plain Male Human Effigy Vessel; Hump backed human effigy jar
Culture: 
Southeast, Mississippian
Date: 
1400-1600 CE
Period: 
Mississippian
Place: 
Poinsett county, Arkansas
Materials/Techniques: 
Clay, shells, notching, engraved
Object Type: 
Accession No: 
54.1328
Previous Number(s): 
V-398
Department: 
On View

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