The Lewis figurine from the southern American Bottom

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This article documents a previously unrecorded figurine from southern Illinois. The Lewis figurine is made from a red pipestone of unknown origin that superficially resembles the Missouri flint clay used to craft Cahokia-style figures. Morphologically, the Lewis figurine differs from all other known Mississippian figurines manufactured during the Stirling phase in the Cahokia region. The particular human effigy style depicted on the Lewis figurine does however resemble human effigies found on Middle Mississippian period ceramic hooded water bottles. Without contextual information for the Lewis figurine it is impossible to draw definite conclusions on its cultural or chronological associations. However, certain stylistic similarities exist between the Lewis figurine and late prehistoric art styles that lead me to suggest that the figurine dates to the Mississippian period and has ties to southeastern Missouri and the Mid-South.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)464-472
JournalIllinois Archaeology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2010


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