All bone specimens, which we could not assign an artifact type but had evidence of human modification, were classified as "worked bone." This includes visible cut marks on bone regardless if they were caused by resource procurement or from the manufacturing of bone tools or ornaments. Since all examined bone artifacts exhibited a wide degree of polish, we omitted that characteristic from the descriptions.
Harpoons found on Oneota sites were most likely used to spear sturgeon, which grew to extremely large sizes (Dirst: 88).
Needles appear in two forms, sewing and matting. Sewing needles were less frequently used due to their difficult manufacturing process and their fragile nature. Matting needles were more prevalent among the Oneota. They are made of rib bones, which were split through the marrow and ground down (Dirst: 86).
Bird long bones were utilized as beads due to their natural hollowness and polished exterior. However, some may not have been used as beads. Instead they may have been worn in the hair or through a hole in the nasal septum or ear (Dirst: 93). Larger bird bones were classified as tubes. Possibilities of tube use include: nose ornaments, pendants, or sucking tubes (Dirst: 94).
Gaming pieces are usually rectangular in shape with rounded ends. They were used in a game that involved hiding them in hands or moccasins and opponents guessing their location (Dirst: 91). Also included in this category are bones with incised lines which we have designated as possible counters.
Hoes were made from the scapula of large mammals such as moose or bison. Polish around the base of the bone and hole through the blade gives evidence to how the tool was hafted (Dirst: 88).
Scrapers and chisels were made from the scapula of different mammals. They were commonly used to scrape the flesh from animal hides. These tools are often referred to as fleshers or beamers (Dirst 84).
Awls were used for piercing small holes. White-tailed deer ulnas were the most commonly used bone due to the proximal end forming a natural handle. Awls were also made from other bones or even splinters of larger bones (Dirst: 85).
Other tools that did not fit into previous categories, such as the bone spoon and musical rasp, were included in the "worked bone" exhibit.