Introduction

Represented here are the combined collections of John Mardock, Jack Turner, Jerry Hubbard, Asa Dillon, Belle Foster Vickers and a Mr. Lawrence. These artifacts were surface collected from river beds and eroded farm fields in Kansas, Arkansas, Missouri, Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Ohio, Tennessee, Alabama and Georgia during the late 19th and early 20th century. They are all utilitarian artifacts which represent the basic tool kit of the Native American peoples during the last 12,000 years. These collects were originally donated to the Friends University museum where they were displayed for many years.

Flags Animals Wagon Cabin Room Arrowheads

The artifacts displayed here represent examples of pre-historic Native Americans’ tool kit, including such items as projectile points (spear, dart and arrow), knives, drills and perforators, scrapers, axes, agricultural implements and grinding tools. These artifacts include examples from each of the archaeological periods form the Paleolithic up to the first European contact. The oldest artifact displayed is a Clovis spear point approximately 12,000 years old, the most recent, a Washita arrow point used about 500 years ago.

Click on the timeline below to view images from Paleolithic, Archaic, and Mississippian Period.

Paleolithic Period
Paleolithic man was a nomadic hunter who followed the herds of mega-fauna such as mammoth, mastodon, bison antiquus and other now extinct mammals as they migrated with the seasons. These people most likely hunted in small bands using thrusting spears and probably atlatls (spear throwers) which increased the force required to propel spears to their targets. They likely supplemented their diet by gathering edible plant material such as seeds, nuts, berries and roots. However, the primary source of food was meat. Examples of projectile points displayed here are Clovis, Scottsbluff and Dalton points.
Archaic Period
The archaic was the longest of the four cultural periods. It was a time of great change and adaption, with the receding glaciers, warming climate and the extinction of the mega-fauna hunted by the Paleolithic people. Archaic man was primarily a Hunter/Gather who roamed from one campsite to another as the seasons changes and food sources were depleted. Their diet consisted of roots, grains, nuts and other vegetable materials, fish, crayfish and river mussels as well as turkey, deer, elk, small fur bearing animals and bison.
Woodland Period
The woodland period was a time of prosperity and increased populations which has a more sedentary lifestyle. Larger and more permanent villages and farmsteads resulted from the rise of agriculture. However, hunting and fishing were still important components of their economy. Cultures such as the Adena and Hopewell peoples, once known as the “Mound Builders” built monumental earthenworks. Pottery came into common use early in the period and the bow and arrow began to replace the atlatl toward the end of the woodland period.
Mississippian Period
The last period exhibited here is the Mississippian. In Kansas it is often referred to as the late prehistoric period. It began around 800-900AS and ended with the arrival of the Europeans in North America. Agriculture had become a mainstay of their economy with the annual cultivation of corn, beans, squash and other vegetables. Hunting was now done with the bow and arrow as the weapon of choice. In Kansas, bison was the primary source of meat. In the eastern Midwest deer and turkey were heavily utilized. At the beginning of the period Native American populations were on a par with human populations around the world. Settlements ranged from small villages and farmsteads to huge cities such as Cahokia near present day St. Louis which had a population of over 20,000. By the end of the period the majority of these populations had been wiped out by the diseases introduced by arriving Europeans. Most of the artifacts from this period displayed here were found in eastern Kansas and are believed to have been made by the prehistoric Wichitas.