University of Virginia Library


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Section G


By Mary Whittemore

The study of bone implements has been somewhat neglected in
Southwestern archaeology. A few worked bones make less of an
impression on the excavator than do the walls of rooms and the
innumerable fragments of pottery. This report will deal in considerable
detail with a relatively small collection of objects of bone,
antler, and shell, in the belief that bone implements may yet prove to
be of importance as diagnostic traits of area or period, and that only
scrupulous attention to details will reveal whatever sensitivity as
cultural indicators these artifacts may possess.

Some years ago Dr. Kidder[340] pointed out the advantages of
using a classification in dealing with bone implements, and in his
very thorough treatment of the Pecos material[341] he provided such a
classification. Several reports since that time have adopted the Pecos
schema with certain modifications to suit the needs of smaller collections.
One excellent example is Miss Bartlett's work.[342] The following
classification, likewise, is based upon that of Dr. Kidder. Plates 12
and 13 illustrate the bone implements and the descriptions can be
followed by the corresponding catalog numbers on the plates.

Objects of Bone (See Plates 12-13)



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I.  Implements—75  Catalog number 
A.  Awls—61  Bc 51 30/- 
1.  Deer, antelope and elk leg
a. Head of bone intact 
b. Head of bone unworked except
by original splitting 
c. Head partly worked down  (17,47,52,88) 
d. Head wholly removed  12  (29,43,61,65,71,77,
e. Splinter  (12,33,34,40,76,90,101) 
f. Worked on whole surface  (10,49,51,58,66,95,
g. Unclassifiable broken tips  (118,120) 
2.  Deer and elk ribs—2  (27,53,60,63,79,80,119) 
a. Face of rib 
3.  Rabbit leg bone—8  (98,105) 
a. Whole bone 
b. Splinter  (26,78,112,122,123,124) 
4.  Bird leg bone—8 
a. Whole bone  (22,25,59,94,103,127) 
b. Splinter  (48,121) 
B.  Chisels—4 
1.  Beveled from one side  (30,41) 
2.  Beveled from two sides  (74,97) 
C.  End scrapers or fleshers—5 
1.  Deer humerus  (15,16,55,73) 
2.  Deer phalanx  (69) 
D.  Miscellaneous bones—4 
1.  Worked fragments of long bone  (28,31,32) 
2.  Bone ring  (38) 
E.  Worked human femur  (13) 
II.  Ornaments—13 
A.  Beads  11  (44,46,56,67,85,86,87,
B.  Pendants  (62,108) 
Objects of Antler 
I.  Awl (Tine)  (42) 
Objects of Shell 
I.  Bead  (64) 
II.  Armband  (68,81,—two pieces) 
Total number of objects—91 

I. Implements

A. Awls.—(See Plates 12 and 13.)—Awls are clearly the
predominant class of bone objects from Bc 51. Awls may be considered
as a rather general category of pointed implements, and there
will be no attempt to distinguish between awls and punches. It may
be added that almost all the implements have the tapering point, which
characterizes an awl, rather than the rounded blunt point, which
characterizes a punch.[343] Kidder,[344] Hodge[345] and others have speculated
about the probable uses of various types of awls in basket making,
skin piercing and similar operations. These possibilities probably
hold for the Chaco, except that none of the awls from Bc 51 display
edges worn in notches from use in weaving.[346]

According to the particular bone from which they are made,[347] the
awls tend to fall into the following four categories:

  • 1. Deer, antelope and elk leg bone

  • [133

    Page [133
  • 2. Deer and elk rib

  • 3. Rabbit leg bone

  • 4. Bird leg bone

1. Deer and Antelope Leg Bones

a. Head of bone intact.—This class made from bones of large
animals does not occur at all in Bc 51 although several examples were
found in Bc 50.

b. Head unworked except for original splitting.—There are five
implements of this class, three of which are made from split sections
of the proximal end of a deer metapodial which provides flattened
head to the implements. The head of one specimen (45) reveals
exceptional wear. The three examples are otherwise very similar:
strong, heavy implements with rounded-off edges and fairly sharp
points. Lengths vary from 3″ to 3¾″, the largest one (11) is 1¼″
wide at the head and the smallest one (45) 10/16″ wide at the head.
There are two examples of the distal end split but unworked, a type
which is very common in other sections of the Southwest.[348] Several
implements from Shabik'eshchee Village are made from this portion of
mammal bone but most of them seem worked down.[349]

c. Head partly worked down.—Only three examples of this class
are definitely awls. A handle fragment has been found which may
properly be included. Two of the examples are of unsplit heads,
one of a metapodial (17), and the other of a tibia (47). The metapodial
lacks an epiphysis and has been so eroded that it is hard to
tell how much was worked originally. It has a sharp point and is
3¼″ long. The end of the tibia is rounded and a shallow groove
has been cut almost encircling the neck of the bone. It is a bit
shorter than the metapodial, and the point is broken off. It looks
much like one of Hodge's[350] or Robert's[351] "constantly refashioned awls."
Judging from the wear on the bone it might have been used again and

The third awl (52) is fashioned from the back of a tibia with
evidence of the swelling of the neck but with little of the epiphysis
remaining. It is well pointed and has nicely worked edges for about
half its length. The appearance is that of a very strong, usable

The fourth artifact (88) was probably an awl, fashioned from
a split metapodial. The butt end has been considerably worked down
and there is a perforation in the neck 1″ from the end. Hodge[352] and
others suggest that this sort of perforation might afford attachment


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for a thong. This implement is one of the three from Bc 51 which
is made from the split distal end of an antelope metapodial. The
fragment is 2¾″ long.

d. Head wholly removed.—As at Pecos, this is the largest class
of awls, thirteen specimens in all. In every class all traces of the
head have been removed and only the shaft is left. This makes
identification difficult and in many cases impossible. Three specimens
were identified as deer tibial fragments, and a few more as probably
antelope metapodials but the rest were devoid of clues. Five implements
of this class (43,82,99,100,117) are quite similar, varying in
length from 3¼″ to 4¾″ and a little more than ½″ wide. They are
relatively flat with rounded edges but still show the slight natural
concavity of the inside of the bone from which the awls were made.
The pierced handle of one (99) 3¾″ long may have afforded attachment
for a thong as suggested above. It also appears similar to one
figured by Morris[353] and termed a needle-like implement. The perforated
awl and one other (99 and 43) exhibit the polish which seems
to come from long use.

Two more awls (61 and 77) are cracked so that only the points
remain. The tips are broken off. One is made from a heavy tibial
fragment (29). Two more are light, finely worked awls (65 and 71),
showing a suggestion of the surface concavity of the bone. The
unbroken one is almost 4½″ long and has a sharp point. The point
of the other is broken off. Both have flattened heads comparable with
Hodge's[354] or Kidder's[355] spatulate awls.

One awl handle (104), made from the back of a tibia with a
splintered edge, is very flat and spatulate. The specimen resembles
some of the Pecos awl spatulas[356] but is perhaps not as carefully
worked. It also looks similar to Robert's spatulate awl from Shabik'eshchee

Another peculiar implement (126), made from the base of the
ulna of an elk, seems to fit into this class. It measures 1″ by 4″ and
appears to be strong and smoothly worked.

e. Splinter.—These are implements made from bone splinters.
Only the point has been ground down and smoothed. The largest
one of these (33) is 5¼″ long and is made from a deer tibia. The
point is not very sharp, but it has been broken. Another from an
antelope femur (70), 3½″ long, has an excellent point. Two awls
are made from thin antelope fragments (40 and 101).

All the awls of this class have a rough angular appearance. In


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spite of apparent crudity they show no evidence of having been found
predominantly in earlier levels but seem to occur in the refuse fill of
Kiva 3, the section between Kivas 2 and 3 and in room 16. In other
words—so far as the limited evidence goes—they occurred predominantly
in refuse or intentional fill.

f. Awls worked on whole surface.—This is not one of Kidder's
classes but one which is original in this report. However, it is roughly
the same idea as Hodge's smoothly finished awls.[358] The difference
between these awls and those of class d which have heads wholly
removed is that the concave inside surface of the bone is no longer
visible but has been completely worked down. The points are missing
in three cases (58, 95, 96). They have been broken and repointed in
two cases (66, 102) giving a blunted appearance. Four of these five
implements exhibit roughly rectangular handles (58,66,96,102) like
the Pecos four-sided implements.[359] There are two small implements
which are perfect. One (10) is a finely worked awl, 3 3/16″ wide and
3⅝″ long. It has a needle-like point. The shaft of the implement is
roughly rectangular. The butt end is slightly tapered—a specimen of
excellent workmanship. The other (49) is round, needle-like, and
2½″ long with a groove around the neck. The point is not as sharp
as that of the bodkin.

g. Unclassifiable broken tips.—There are seven of these in various
stages of bluntness and fineness. One (79) is extremely fine.
Two (53,80) are resharpened and two (27,63) are broken. All are
so small and fragmentary that they cannot be identified or properly

2. Deer and Elk Ribs

a. Face of rib—worked type.—There is one implement (105)
about 2½″ long duplicating Pecos types.[360] Some of the cancellous
bone is left in place presumably to strengthen the implement or
perhaps to provide a more comfortable grip. The tip of the point
has been broken off but it must have been fine and sharp. The width
is ⅜″. Another awl (98), about 5″ long tapers from the inch-wide
handle to a dulled point. The bone is extremely fragile. A tentative
identification designates the material elk rib. This implement is
similar to one from Shabik'eshchee.[361] None of the splinter type or
edge of rib type awls found at Pecos[362] were found at Bc 51.

3. Rabbit Leg Bone.—The jack rabbit tibia is the most popular
rabbit bone for awls. Six examples were found, the seventh (26)
being a radius. The method of manufacture seems to have included


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splintering the main section of the bone, and then pointing the end
by grinding. Two awls were made from small splinters of bones. Of
these the smaller (118) is finely pointed. Only half the collection
exhibits a lustrous surface. In general rabbit bone awls were not
the most popular. In length they are 2½″ to 3¾″, averaging about 3″.
The points of two or three have been snapped off. Only two, the implement
from the radius (26) and one of those made from a splinter
(118), exhibit extremely fine sharp points. In one case, in which the
whole bone has been used (but with epiphysis removed) (122), the
bone has been cracked transversely, leaving a jagged edge.

4. Bird Leg Bone.—As Kidder points out[363] the leg and wing
bones of birds can be worked to extremely sharp points but are
extremely brittle. Of the eight bird bone implements found in Bc 51,
four could be identified as golden eagle.

a. Whole bone.—This class consists of whole bones, with or
without heads, which have been tapered and pointed. One (94) of the 6
examples of this class has been broken off so that hardly more than a
point is left. Another (103) looks as if the head had been chewed off.
Three (22, 25, 59) have fine points unbroken and look considerably
used. Lengths vary from 2¼″ and 3½″.

b. Splinter.—There are two very roughly formed, exhibiting few
signs of use or wear. The lengths are 1½″ and 2¼″.

B. Chisels.—Four implements might be termed chisels. In the
terminology of Hodge,[364] punches are an intermediate class between
awls and chisels. That intermediate class has been omitted from this

1. Beveled Only on One Edge.—There are two implements which
come into this group, one (41) of a rib of some mammal, the other
(30) of some deer fragment. The latter is about 3¼″ long by 9/16″
wide at the handle, tapering to a shaft about ¼″ wide. The cancellous
tissue is exposed through the middle portion of the implement. The
point is blunted and considerably worn down. This implement looks
somewhat like one of those illustrated by Hodge which he calls a bone
chisel.[365] It is also very much like Kidder's implements, which he calls
flakers, designating them as tools "probably employed in the fabrication
of chipped implements. Most of them seem originally to have
been awls, put to secondary use for stone-working after their points
had become dulled or been broken. The rounded, often battered tips
are characteristic."[366]


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The tip of this implement seems to show the same sort of wear. At the
same time it shows a tendency toward having one beveled edge so it
falls in this category of chisels. It is so shaped that it might possibly
have been used as an awl at one time.

The second example of this class (41), a split rib, ¾″ wide and
more than 5″ long, is another problem. The cancellous bone is exposed
and left in place along the whole of one flat side. The bone itself was
much affected by weathering and is in poor condition. The handle
end seems to be broken off and the chisel end is only about half there,
but one is led to believe that it is a chisel by the general tapering
towards an edge which must have been about ½″ across.

2. Beveled from Two Sides.—One (74) is 2¾″ long, 13/16″ wide
at the butt end, tapering to ½″ wide at the cutting edge and displays
excellent workmanship. The butt end is unfinished and rough but
not broken. The cutting end is smoothly beveled. At its thickest point
the implement is 5/16″ thick. No implement of this sort was found
in Bc 50.

The second chisel (97) is made from a mule deer humerus still
showing the curve of the shaft of the bone with only the end worked
down. The length is 4″, width ¾″ at butt end, and ½″ at cutting edge.
The edge is fragmentary but shows the beveling from both sides, being
considerably more marked on the inside curve of the bone.

C. Fleshers or Scrapers.—Four of deer humerus were found,
only one of which (55) was complete. This measured 6½″ long, with
a blade 1¼″ at the widest point and the head of the bone partly worked
down. One tiny scraper made from a deer phalanx was also present.
The humerus fleshers all have rounded edges and exhibit none of the
serrations found at Pecos.[367] The little phalanx scraper (69) is 2″
long and exhibits a good deal of working in the head region, giving
the impression of flattened sides. It is remarkable that all of the big
scrapers have tended to break off at the same point an inch or so down
the neck, which seems the weak point in that type of implement.

At Pecos, Kidder[368] found that scrapers of the metatarsus type
with ankle bones for a handle predominated with but one single doubtful
specimen of an end scraper from a humerus. Kidder states:[369] "That
bone can be, and by certain peoples of the San Juan drainage commonly
was, fashioned into a serviceable tool."

This type was also found in large numbers by Morris, at Aztec, and
one was inlaid.[370] At Pueblo Bonito[371] were found a good many scrapers


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of this type inlaid with turquoise and, doubtless, of ceremonial importance.
The distribution of this type of implement seems to be more a
question of culture area than of period, although this humerus type
may be the earlier.

D. Miscellaneous Bones—Worked But Not Identifiable as Implements.—There
are three fragments of long bones showing evidence
of having been worked and one unfinished ring. One of the
long bones (31) and the bone ring (38) show the method
of cutting a bone most of the way through, probably with a flint knife,
and then breaking.[372] The section of long bone was not broken off,
but the bone ring shows unworked edges subsequent to the break.
A 3″ section of an antelope metapodial (31) shows a diagonal cut
across one end which looks as if it might illustrate the first stage of
working down an awl. The third long bone section (32), broken at
one end and showing a slight outward curve toward the epiphysis on
the other, shows no evidence of human workmanship other than the
regular splitting, presumably, for marrow. The bone ring (38) is
unsmoothed on one edge but the other edge is quite rounded. This ring
may have been cut from an old implement to prepare a new surface.
At least, the rounded surface does not resemble an epiphysis, even an
immature one. Although only ¾ of the contour of the bone is
present it is enough to suggest that it came from a long bone, probably
the tibia of a pronghorn antelope. This sort of unfinished ring
is not an unusual discovery in the Southwest.

E. Worked Human Femur.—The 4″ section of human femur
(13) appears to be the blank for an intended implement which was
never finished. One end is broken off, the other gouge shaped. The
locus was near the surface west of room 1.

Worked human bones are not very common in the Southwest.
There was only one possibility at Pecos,[373] a part of a broken object,
presumably a disk of skull, possibly human.


Kidder, 1932, p. 203.


Ibid, p. 208.


Hodge, 1920, pp. 97-99.


Ibid, Plate XVII; Kidder, 1932, Fig. 190.


My thanks are due Dr. Glover M. Allen, of the Museum of Comparative
Zoology at Harvard University, for identifying bone material.


Kidder, 1932, p. 204, Fig. 171.


Roberts, 1929, Pl. 20.


Hodge, 1920, p. 82.


Roberts, 1929, p. 127.


Hodge, 1920, p. 93.


Morris, 1919a, p. 39 and Fig. 23a.


Hodge, 1920, Pls. XIV and XV.


Kidder, 1932, Fig. 187.


Ibid, p. 222.


Roberts, 1929, Pl. 22 g.


Hodge, 1920, p. 86.


Kidder, 1932, p. 225.


Ibid. p. 217.


Roberts, 1929, Pl. 25 and p. 131.


Kidder, 1932, p. 217.


Ibid., p. 217.


Hodge, 1920, p. 106.


Ibid., Pl. XXIII.


Kidder, 1932, Fig. 191 g, p. 228.


Ibid., p. 233.


Ibid., p. 233.


Ibid., p. 235.


Morris, 1919a, p. 36.


Pepper, 1920, p. 378.


Kidder, 1932, p. 200.


Ibid., p. 270. See also Reiter, 1938, Pl. XXIIa, object 1, and p. 85, for a
flesher made from a human adult femur and found with a burial at Amoxiumqua. In
the collections of the Museum of New Mexico are a pair of artifacts fashioned from
the paired femora of a human child. Their provenience has not, at present, been
definitely established. Roberts, 1929, p. 144, mentions bone tubes made from human

II. Ornaments

A. Beads.—There were 11 bone beads and 1 bone tube (56) 3½″
long, perhaps representing the beginning stages of a bead, many of
them accompanying burials. Five of these could be identified as sections
of golden eagle, 1 from a femur (91) and 4 from ulnae (44, 46,
56, 106). Several of the beads were broken (67, 85, 107). The broken


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sections of specimen 67 show it to be blackened all the way through
with a high polish on the outside. This bead was found in kiva 3 at the
6′ level on the east side. Variations in diameter are from ½″ to ¼″.
The edges are well smoothed, very evenly in many cases. Five beads
accompanied burials in room 2, 2 beads were found in room 16, and
another in the lower levels of kiva 4. Several lay near the surface
between kivas 2 and 3. These beads may have been worn strung end
to end or bunched in pairs as wrist guards.

B. Pendants.—One (62) is a thin piece of bone, probably the
curved outer portion of a rib with cancellous tissue removed. It
measures 2¼″ by ⅝″. Roughly rectangular in shape with curved
ends and rounded edges, there is a small drilled hole a little to the left
of center of one end. It is fragile, broken in 4 pieces, and was found
in kiva 3 in the 0-3′ level. Several similar pendants came from Bc 50.
The ones found at Pecos[374] are heavier and stronger.

The other pendant (108) is a delicate portion of the base of a
claw, probably that of an eagle. It is pierced by a finely drilled hole
through its center. The dimensions are 1″ by ¾″ by ⅜″ at its thickest
point. It was found in a small bowl on the floor against the southeast
corner of room 17, more than 9′ below the surface.

Bone Materials Used and Loci.—Mule deer was by far the most
common source of animal bone for implements, and metapodials
and long bone fragments were most commonly used. Metapodials of
deer and antelope were favorite bones at Pecos. On the other hand,
at Pecos were found a much wider variety of bones, such as those of
wolves, coyotes, and wildcats.

"Objects of bone were not treasured possessions, were seldom
placed in graves, and are found in great quantities and often in
apparently still serviceable condition in the rubbish heaps, where it is
supposed the majority were thrown by their owners."[375] This statement,
made by Kidder in regard to Pecos, is roughly true in the case
of Bc 51 with a slight difference in emphasis. No bone implements
were found in the refuse mound proper but many, in serviceable condition,
were found at various levels of rooms and kivas which appeared
to have been intentionally filled with refuse. Accompanying burials,
five bone beads were found, but only one broken tip of an awl was
found in such a location. This situation contrasts sharply with the
facts for Unshagi and other sites. Attempts at stratigraphic analysis
of artifacts of bone, antler, and shell from Bc 51 proved fruitless:
the character of objects from different levels showed no consistent
ascertainable differentiations.


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Artifacts of Antler (See Plate 13)

There was one small antler tool 1¾″ long, ⅝″ wide, and ⅜″ thick,
which was found in Bc 51. The point is rather blunt. Two sides have
been worked down from parallel faces but the butt end is unfinished.
It was located in the fill outside rooms 1-5. This implement seems to
fit into Kidder's classification of tines with two sides of the top worked
and it appears to be almost identical with Fig. 232 h,[376] which Kidder
remarks "may be a wedge." It is also similar to some small antler
tools found in Jemez Cave.[377]

This is the only object of antler found in Bc 51 and there were
none in Bc 50. One was found at Łeyit Kin.[378] There were relatively few
(13) antler implements found at Jemez Cave, but many at Pecos (751).


Kidder, p. 279.


Alexander and Reiter, 1935, p. 39.


Dutton, 1938, p. 66.

Artifacts of Shell

The section of an arm band, found in two pieces (68, 81), was
examined by Mr. William J. Clench, of the Museum of Comparative
Zoology, at Harvard University, who stated that it was not a fresh
water shell, not a clam shell, and that it was probably a transverse or
spiral section from a large gastropod. The band has been too thoroughly
worked down to make positive identification possible. In grinding
down and polishing the specimen, the workman has preserved the
original curve of the shell. Together the fragments measure only 2″
in length, ⅛″ in width, and ¼″ in height.

The other object of shell (or possibly calcite) is a very tiny bead
(64) drilled at one end with dimensions 5/16″ by 3/16″ by 2/16″.
This type of bead has aroused the interest of several excavators in
the Southwest because of its unusual and distinctive form. It has
been variously described as bi-lobed, two-lobed, double-drop, and
figure eight. The bead has two flat, parallel surfaces, ground smooth.
The flat surfaces are ovoid in shape with slight concavities on each of
the long sides giving a bi-lobed or figure eight effect. The hole for suspension
is very cleanly and sharply drilled in one of the lobes.

I have been able to discover eight published references to beads of
this description, found in sites located in Anasazi, Hohokam, and
Mogollon culture areas. At Snaketown,[379] where shell work was very
prolific, 14 beads, which are almost exact duplicates of the example
from Bc 51, were found, 7 in Sacaton levels, 2 more in Santa Cruz, and
5 unplaced.

There have been several reports of this type of bead from the
Mogollon. Haury[380] lists bi-lobed shell beads as characteristic of the


Page [141
Three Circle phase on the basis of one bead, 7 mm. long, one lobe perforated,
recovered from the Harris site. Nesbit[381] found several in
the Starkweather Ruin and refers to them as a late Pueblo development.
He also reports the flat type "figure 8" bead in "The Ancient

At Kiatuthlanna, in Eastern Arizona, Roberts[383] found a whole
necklace of these beads. Although they were in a bowl of Pueblo III
period and probably characteristic of Pueblo III, he suggests that they
might possibly have come from an older level and have been gathered
and saved by the Pueblo people. In northeastern Arizona, we have a
report from Kidder and Guernsey.[384] "The three two-lobed beads of
white stone are of an unusual shape; strung together they give the
effect of a double string." These beads are certainly the same shape
and, perhaps, the same material as the other examples. There are,
also, some beads of this type at the museum of Phillips Academy,
Andover, collected by W. K. Moorehead at Pueblo Bonito. Winifred
Reiter, in her unpublished master's thesis, describes these beads and
cites their finding in Chaco Canyon.:[385] Beads of this sort were found
on the lower floor of Casa Rinconada, in the inter-floor fills of the
Chetro Ketl "great kiva," in intentional fill in the northwest corner
outside Chetro Ketl Kiva G, in a weathered bank of a cut in the
Chetro Ketl refuse heap.[386]

From the scattered examples of these beads cited above they seem
to have a very wide distribution in both time and area, from Basket
Maker through to late Pueblo and in Anasazi, Hohokam, and Mogollon


Gladwin, et al., 1937, p. 140, Fig. 54 e.


Haury, 1936, p. 78 and Fig. 30.


Nesbit, 1938, p. 110 and Pl. 50a.


Nesbit, 1931, p. 95, Pl. 41 g.


Roberts, 1931, p. 162.


Kidder and Guernsey, 1919, p. 151, Pl. 62 l and Fig. 68 c.


Reiter, W., 1933.


Letter from Paul Reiter, February, 1939.

Comments on Distribution

A few individual bone objects have already been compared with
similar examples from other areas in the Southwest. The next step is
to widen and systematize this distributional comparison. Dr. Kidder
has remarked that the very unobtrusiveness of bone objects gives them
a peculiar archaeological value. "So modest an art as bonework, with
so unchanging a raw material, should be, however, much more stable
and should help us, if studied as closely as by Mr. Hodge, toward the
solution of many difficult problems."[387] Kidder began an extensive distributional
comparison when working on the Pecos material,[388] examined
many museum collections, amassed much material but became
convinced that the time for a comprehensive study had not yet come.


Page 142]
A fairly thorough examination of the literature in connection with
the preparation of this paper has revealed that insufficient published
material has accumulated since 1932 to make a thorough treatment
possible as yet. However, it seems worthwhile to bring together the
suggestions about the importance and distribution of bone implements
which have been offered by various authorities from time to time.
An attempt will be made to characterize briefly bone implements from
different areas and roughly to indicate dividing lines.

At the Perpetual Fire Site, in eastern Texas, ¾ of the implements
found were flaking tools with a screwdriver-like end which Jackson
remarks are "peculiar to this region."[389] The awls, which comprise 23
per cent of the total objects of bone found, are mostly of the partly
worked splinter type, rather crude and in striking contrast to the well
worked artifacts found in rock shelters in west Texas. This is evidently
a very different sort of bone working complex from that found
in New Mexico and Arizona. A few beads, a gouge, and some cut
bone, as well as a hog tusk awl, were also found.

In the Big Bend region and in the Panhandle, chisels, gouges,
punches, awls, scrapers, sounding rasps, some engraved bones, some
needles, beads, flaking tools are reported, awls being the most numerous.
Pearce and Jackson[390] remark that the Val Verde awls resemble
some of those from west Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona, but differ
from those of central, south, and east Texas in size and shape. Coffin[391]
notes that his awls from Brewster County are not different in type
from Arizona and New Mexico examples.

At Lovelock Cave, in central Nevada,[392] more than half of the awls
found were made from scapulae. Loud and Harrington state that in
California awls are made from the cannon bone and ulna of deer and
rarely from the penis bone of marine mammals and the limb bones of
birds. In the University of California collection, from the cliff dwellings
of Utah and southwestern Colorado, over half the awls are made
from the various limb bones of birds. Spatulas, bone tubes, scapulae
scrapers, a flute or whistle, and a good many objects of horn and hoof
were also found at Lovelock. Implements from Pueblo Grande de
Nevada and Gypsum Cave resemble the usual Basket Maker—Pueblo
or Anasazi types.

Steward's work in western Utah[393] shows somewhat different emphasis
from that of the University of California's collection. He found
that the deer leg bone was generally used. As distinctive of western
Utah, he finds antler tips, antler wedges, gaming bones, bone pendants,


Page [143
and splinter awls which tend to be longer than those with the head

In Sacramento County, California, Lillard and Purves[394] found
round, thick, short, spatula-like implements at the bottom of their
oldest site and more slender and better pointed ones toward the surface.
Cannon bones of deer, elk, and antelope were favorite bones, but
pointed awls and needles were also made of the leg and wing bones of
birds. Whistles, carved bone tubes, and several flat implements of
bone were also found. The evidence from this site and from the Emeryville
Shell Mound[395] does not seem contrary to the Loud and Harrington
suggestion. The Twenty-nine Palms region[396] and the southern San
Joaquin Valley[397] seem to be characterized by relative scarcity of bone
objects. The remarkable thing about the northern San Joaquin Valley[398]
is that two-thirds of the objects found were whistles or tubes.
Bone work from this dig was scarce in comparison with that from the
shell mounds but there was quite a variety: skinning bones, fish hooks,
pierced awls and bodkins, carved bone, sea mammal bone, and the
usual assortment of awls.

There seem to be two features which set off Snaketown[399] and the
Hohokam generally from Anasazi and Mogollon cultures. The first is
the general scarcity of bone artifacts. The second is the presence of
bone tubes. Awls and tubes seem to be the only bone objects found.
Too few awls were recovered from Snaketown to determine definite
types for the Hohokam, but several dagger-like specimens (which
Haury suggests might have been worn as hair ornaments) were found
in poor condition with cremations. Several awls, similar to Anasazi
types, are illustrated and an awl found in the Santa Cruz and Sacaton
Phase forms a link with the Mogollon.

Of the bone tubes which occur in great numbers (the early ones
incised and the later ones plain) Haury remarks:[400] "Ornamented bone
tubes do not occur in great abundance in the Southwest. Kidder (A. V.
1932, fig. 220) illustrates a small series from the Pecos, only one of
which is definitely prehistoric and Hodge (F. W., 1920, p. 122) reports
a smiliar condition for Hawikuh. In both of these ruins the majority
of tubes were made of bird bone and were thus smaller in diameter and
longer than Hohokam. Perforation of tubes has never been practiced
by Hohokam."

Carved or incised bone has a wide, though scattered, distribution
in both time and space. Guernsey and Kidder found decorated tubes


Page 144]
in Basket Maker caves in northeastern Arizona.[401] In the "Slab-house"
culture they found a hollow bone tool with parallel grooves on it.[402]
Martin found many implements with engraved handles in the Shumla
Caves in Texas.[403] At the Saddle-Back Ruin, Holden found decorated
bones with grooves cut crosswise.[404] Schenck and Dawson found quite a
few geometric etched lines on objects uncovered in the northern San
Joaquin Valley.[405] Carved bone beads are rather rare, but carving on
bone is a bit more common.

Haury[406] points out, as diagnostic of Mogollon, the side notched
awls which occur along with plain awls and dice in the Mimbres Phase,
the same combination with the addition of burial talismen in Three
Circle, and plain and notched awls accompanied by tubes in the San
Francisco Phase. Nesbit[407] found some of these side notched awls
in the Starkweather pithouse. Roberts[408] found one at Kiatuthlanna
and Haury[409] found several at Harris Village. The most usual
type at Starkweather does not have the side notch. The bone tubes
mentioned by Haury are of both mammal and bird bone, seven in all.
Bone implements seem to be relatively scarce in Mogollon, compared
with the number in Anasazi sites.

In Anasazi sites awls are predominant. In the Basket Maker
and early Pueblo excavations those found are usually made of long
bones of deer and antelope, the chief distinguishing characteristic between
these and later examples being that these awls are, in general,
shorter, stubbier, and look more as if they had been reworked. As has
been suggested by Lillard and Purves, this tendency toward shorter,
stubbier awls, in early periods is, apparently, a fairly general trend.
Beads or tubes, whistles, gaming pieces, and perforated awls are
found fairly generally in these sites. Needles, punches, and flaking
tools, decorated or carved bone and handles for hafting are sometimes
found. Rasp sounders, chisels, scrapers, and objects of antler are
rare. Pendants, flutes, and weaving tools do not seem to occur at all
in this horizon.

Pueblo II has few exceptionally long awls and still has quite a
few short ones. The variety of objects of bone is not very great, in
fact, Bartlett[410] characterizes Pueblo II by things lacking rather than


Page [145
by things found. This lack of variety may partly hinge upon the fact
that so few sites are unequivocally assigned to Pueblo II. Whistles
were found in the San Francisco Mountains region but have not been
reported from elsewhere. No flutes, flageolets, or rasp sounders were
found. Carved bone, turquoise, and other inlays, effigies, bone dice,
weaving tools, spindle whorls, handles for hafting, bone arrows are
all missing from Pueblo II collections. Needles, objects of antler,
and gaming bones are scarce as are rib implements, chisels, and
pendants. Uncarved bone beads or tubes and pierced awls occur in
most Pueblo II sites.

Sites which are Pueblo III and later seem to have almost every
conceivable bone artifact. This is particularly true of Pecos and
Hawikuh. Those excavations which are solely Pueblo III do seem,
however, to have relatively few needles, rasp sounders, flutes, whistles,
gaming pieces, decorated bone, handles for hafting, antler, effigies,
and spindle whorls. The long awls, which distinguish later from
earlier periods in the Anasazi culture, are not the only type found.
They are not even predominant. It is simply that there are numerous
specimens which are longer and more tapering than an awl would be
in earlier periods. Roberts does figure some awls almost 8 inches long
from Shabik'eshchee Village,[411] but awls of that length are much more
common at Pecos.

To consider distribution geographically rather than chronologically
for a moment, can any general statement be made about the
Chaco area? Awls—as in Pueblo archaeological sites generally—
definitely predominate. At Łeyit Kin the proportion (65 out of 80)[412]
was even higher than at mound 51. In Chaco Canyon awls with the
head of the bones intact seem rare, although at Łeyit Kin 14 out of 65
"Awls and Punches" fell in this category.[413] There is a general lack
of wind instruments except for a few whistles. Tubular bone beads
were common in all known time periods and were perforated to make
whistles at Shabik'eshchee Village.[414] Drilled awls and needles are
fairly common. No humerus end scrapers were found at Shabik'eshchee
but they were found in significant numbers in the Pueblo II excavations,
were thought to be of ceremonial importance at Bonito and were
also found at Aztec. Kidder[415] pointed out that these humerus scrapers
were common in late ruins of the Upper San Juan. Roberts[416] calls
them a Pueblo II development. Evidence now suggests that they came
in during Pueblo I or II times and, perhaps, with them came the little
deer phalanx end scrapers.


Page 146]

Thus, from area to area and from period to period, there are some
variations in bone implements. Differences, except when taken by
proportions of occurrence, do not seem to bulk very large. Awls are,
in general, similar because materials and functional restrictions make
this almost inevitable. Examination has shown that variations are
most likely to occur in quantity or relative percentage of types found.
Other factors which, to some extent, appear distinctive are unusual
implements or decorations.


Kidder, 1921, p. 365.


Kidder, 1932, Introduction.


Jackson, 1936, p. 145.


Pearce and Jackson, 1933, pp. 51-54.


Coffin, 1932, p. 33.


Loud and Harrington, 1931, p. 36.


Steward, 1936, p. 29-34.


Lillard and Purves, 1936, p. 14 and Pls. 8-12, and 15.


Schenck, 1926, pp. 213-225.


Campbell, 1931, p. 73-74.


Gifford and Schenck, 1926, pp. 53-54.


Schenck and Dawson, 1931, pp. 349-356.


Gladwin, et al., 1937, pp 154-155, Pls. CXXV-CXXIX.


Haury, p. 155.


Guernsey and Kidder, 1921, pp. 103-105.


Kidder and Guernsey, 1919, p. 154.


Martin, G., 1933, p. 35, and Pl. VIII.


Holden, 1933, p. 48. Mr. J. Charles Kelley informs me (August, 1939) that
incised tubular bird bone beads occur in all foci of the Bravo Valley Aspect.


Schenck and Dawson, 1929, p. 353.


Haury, 1936a, pp. 110-111.


Nesbit, 1938, p. 107 and Pl. 48 c.


Roberts, 1931, Pl. 25 a.


Haury, 1936a, p. 76.


Bartlett, 1934, p. 44.


Roberts, 1929, Pl. 20 a and e.


Dutton, 1938, p. 66.


Ibid., p. 66.


Roberts, p. 131, 1929.


Kidder, 1921, p. 365.


Roberts, 1932, p. 137.


Kidder, 1932, p. 269.


Kidder, p. 201.


Kidder, 1921, p. 263.


Kidder, 1932.


Bartlett, 1934.