Pipestone Utilization in the Midcontinent

Sarah Wisseman, Thomas E. Emerson, Randall Hughes, Kenneth Farnsworth

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


A team of archaeologists and geologists at the University of Illinois has spent over fifteen years analyzing quarry samples and artifacts from the Midcontinent. Using PIMA spectroscopy, X-ray diffraction and selected chemical techniques, we have identified previously unknown sources of pipestone in northern Illinois and Missouri and characterized sources in Wisconsin (Barron and Baraboo counties), Ohio (Feurt Hill and Portsmouth), Minnesota, and Kansas. Our major findings are that prehistoric peoples sometimes chose their raw material for reasons other than proximity to a source of carvable pipestone, and that the Ohio sites of Tremper Mound and Mound City have completely different patterns of pipestone use despite their proximity to each other. Work continues to better understand the range of variation within individual sources and changes in pipestone use over time.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAbstracts of the SAA 78th Annual Meeting 3-7 April, 2013 Honolulu, Hawaii
StatePublished - 2013


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