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Pre-Columbian, Native American, Indian Artifacts & More


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How to identify authentic perforated Spatulates? This is not the easiest subject to broach. Southern spatulates are strictly a Mississippian artifact with no counterparts ever identified with late woodland or archaic artifacts. In fact, this type of artifact was excavated in Georgia at the King site associated with the hilt of a Spanish sword which dated from the fifteen hundreds. But what makes them so special and desirable among collectors of American Indian artifacts? No doubt it is their large size and extremely fine workmanship. The majority of these unique artifacts will measure at least 5" in height and 4" in width. They have been discovered in Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi and Arkansas. It is assumed they were some type of burial furniture. The special non-drilled examples are mostly from Arkansas and Mississippi, but most are pre-spotted at a specific area for perforation. Considered finished, their purpose may not have been for everyday use. Another contradiction is the use of native raw material such as those Provenance: Arkansas and Mississippi are primarily manufactured from fine grained and dark color Ironstone often containing inclusion of mica. These artifacts generally have high polish overall. The use of Ironstone is a minority material for southern spatulates. Limestone spatulates are found throughout the Tennessee area and will also take a heavy polish which produces a light tan color. Most prevalent in the South is the use of veined Greenstone which takes an extremely high polish. The majority have been ground to eliminate any trace of the pecking process. Found throughout Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee; the bit of these unusual artifacts are polished to a keen edge, however show no evidence of use. The handle portion may show stains from some form of ancient hafting. Greenstone spatulates may be single or double drilled, and a few are undrilled. Students of the southern cult believe that the handled spatulates represent some form of phallic symbolism and may have been used in socio-religious ceremonies. The spatulate below is Hillabee greenstone. Col. John F. Berner

Artifact Number: 00002

5 5/8" Drilled Southern Spatulate Provenance: Henderson Co. Tennessee

Period: Mississippian Period.

Material: a Form of Greenstone


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