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Shell mushroom ear ornament with incised geomorphic design / Southeast, Mississippian

Essay/Description

Mushroom ear ornament cut from the body of the penultimate whorl (columella) and the adjoining suture and spire section of the body whorl of a marine shell. Possesses an ovalish top, a perforation at its base, and a geomorphic incised design on the penultimate whorl (a diamond within a diamond). These ear ornaments were either suspended (via the perforation at the base) from the ear or the body, the long flat section, of the object was pushed through a piercing in the ear and secured with string through the basal perforation. If worn by inserting the body into an ear piercing, the ornaments are referred to as ear plugs.

Artifacts 90.449 and 90.448 were found together and represent a matched pair of ear ornaments or plugs, Mississippian cultures used these ornaments in a way similar to the way we use earrings.

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Title(s): 
Shell mushroom ear ornament with incised geomorphic design
Culture: 
Southeast, Mississippian
Date: 
700 - 1600 CE
Period: 
Mississippian
Place: 
Saint Francis River Basin, Cross, Arkansas
Materials/Techniques: 
Marine Shell
Classification: 
Object Type: 
Accession No: 
90.449
Department: 
On View

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