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Incised shell fragment / Southeast, Mississippian

Essay/Description

This incised shell fragment is part of the body section of the body whorl, or shell cup, of a whole marine shell. The shell has been incised with the forked eye motif and is executed in the Craig A style. It has been suggested that the design could also represent a bird’s head with an open beak and possessing a head tuft. After the artist completes incising (or removing small and precise amounts of material through carving methods) the design onto the shell, a pigment is rubbed into the incised (or carved) lines. The incised design is located on the convex, exterior surface of the shell. The artifact possesses a smooth texture and jagged edges. Overall shape of the artifact loosely resembles a rhomboid.

Curatorial Remarks

The Craig Mound and Spiro Site were excavated in 1936, 1937, and 1941 as a WPA project sponsored by TU, OU, and OHS. The University of Tulsa (TU) was assigned ownership of a portion of the artifacts recovered from these excavation seasons. While under

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Title(s): 
Incised shell fragment
Culture: 
Southeast, Mississippian
Date: 
700 - 1600 CE
Period: 
Mississippian
Place: 
Le Flore, Oklahoma
Materials/Techniques: 
Marine Shell, Pigment
Classification: 
Accession No: 
9025.1704 a
Department: 
Not On View

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