Artifact Analyses

This dog effigy pipe carved at about 50 BC from northern Illinois Sterling pipestone was recovered from an Ohio Hopewell mound in the early 20th century. Photo courtesy of Thomas Emerson. Thomas Emerson, Kenneth Farnsworth, Sarah Wisseman (all from the Illinois State Archaeological Survey), and Randall Hughes (Illinois State Geological Survey-Illinois State Archaeological Survey) performed 53 PIMA (portable infrared mineral analyzer) and Hunter color meter analyses on 24 Native American artifacts. These artifacts were borrowed from private collectors and several were from the Illinois State Museum. The analyses are part of a continuing effort to analyze and create a database of source quarries for all of the pipestone artifacts from the central United States. Most of these artifacts were made of pipestone from the Sterling and Rock Falls region of Illinois. These carved pipes and similar objects were highly valued in the Hopewell Culture (ca. 1,900-2,050 years before present). The objects were commonly unused and buried with important individuals. The effigy bowl pipes are also very highly valued by today's collectors.