Monday, August 15, 2011

A Collection of Artifacts from Missouri Early Native American Burial Mounds



A fine collection of earthen vessels was purchased for the Bureau from Mr. J. T. Gouden, of Morrow, Ohio, through the agency of Dr. Wills De Haas.

earthen vessel
Fig. 174.

Few facts in regard to them have been furnished, excepting that they were taken from graves in the vicinity of Charleston, Mo. They resemble so closely the well-known types of Missouri pottery that it is safe to conclude that they were obtained from ancient graves and mounds in the locality named.

The numerous cuts accompanying this section are intended for subsequent use in a general treatise on the works of the Moundbuilders.

This ware is generally of the dark gray or black variety, handsmoothed, or but slightly polished, and tempered with pulverized shells.

A few examples are yellowish-red in color. Some of these have been 496painted red or have been ornamented with designs in red. In one case white paint has been used.

The prevailing form is a bottle-shaped vessel, the neck being frequently high and slender, and the body globular or subglobular. The base is nearly always slightly flattened.

65556. An effigy vase of unusual form. The body is subrectangular. The upper part or neck is lost, but has doubtless been modeled to represent the human figure, as the feet remain attached to the shoulder of the vessel. The color is yellowish gray. Diameter, 5 inches.

earthen vessel

Fig. 175.

65603. An effigy vase of the dark ware. The body is globular. A kneeling human figure forms the neck. The mouth of the vessel occurs at the back of the head—a rule in this class of vessels. Is is finely made and symmetrical. 9¾ inches high and 7 inches in diameter. 


65595. Effigy vase representing a kneeling or squatting human figure, moderately well modeled. The exterior surface is painted red. Height, 7 inches; diameter, 5 inches. The locality is not known with certainty.

65604-65607, 65611, 65612. Effigy vases of human figures. Sizes, medium to small. The body below the waist is hemispherical, and the legs are not indicated. More on the mound builders, here

earthen vessel

Fig. 176.

65597. Effigy vase, representing an owl. The body is globular. The wings are indicated at the sides, and the legs and tail serve as a tripod when the vessel is placed in an upright position. The head is quite grotesque. This is a usual form in the Middle Mississippi district. Height, 8 inches; width, 5½ inches.

65608. Small example, resembling the preceding.

65601, 65596. Vases with globular bodies; the necks represent an owl's head. Size, medium.

earthen vessel
Fig. 177.

65605. A small vase similar to the above, but having a human head.

65558. A minute vessel modeled to represent a bird, the opening or mouth being on the under side of the body; length, 2 inches.


65599, 65602, 65604, 65610. Bottle-shaped vases, with globular or flattish bodies and grotesque tops. The rounded heads are armed with a number of nodes or horns, but no features are shown. The largest is 7 inches in width by 7 in height. 

earthen vesselearthen vessel
Fig. 178.Fig. 179.

65598. Similar vase of medium size. The top is modeled to represent the curved stem and neck of a gourd. Height 7 inches.


65600. Vase similar to the above. The top representing a gourd with short conical neck. Four lines are drawn from the stem down the sides which represent the natural markings of the gourd. Height, 5½ inches; diameter, 5½ inches.

earthen vessel
Fig. 180.

65555. A two-storied vessel, the lower part being a cup of flattened globular form. The upper part is similar in size and shape, but is modeled to represent a univalve shell, the apex being represented by a large node surrounded by six smaller nodes, and the base or spine by a graceful extension of the rim. The groove or depression that encircles the vessel between the upper and lower parts of the body is spanned by two minute handles. Height, 5 inches; width, 4½.

earthen vessel

Fig. 181.


65543, 65551, 65552, 65554, 65573. Small bowls or cups, made in imitation of shell vessels, the noded apex occurring at one side, and the more or less pointed beak at the opposite side. Another similar specimen with hemispherical body is given in  Length, 6 inches.

earthen vessel

Fig. 182.

65542, 65545, 65550. Small vases with wide mouths, the rim and shoulders of which have the heads and extremities of frogs, modeled in relief. Diameter, 6 inches.

earthen vessel

Fig. 183.

65539, 65541, 65544, 65546. Low, wide-mouthed vases or bowls, modeled about the rim to represent sunfish. A vertical view is given in  5 inches in length.

65579. A small bowl, the rim of which is embellished on one side with the head of a panther, on the other side a flattish projection which resembles a tail.


earthen vesselearthen vessel
Fig. 184.Fig. 185.

65580. A small bowl, having upon the rim a human head, the face of which is turned inward. On the opposite side is the usual flattish projection. Diameter of bowl 5 inches.

65578. Small bowl, the rim of which is embellished with the head of a fox or wolf; at the opposite side is the usual tail.

65576, 65577, 65581, 65585. Bowls of various sizes, the rims of which are ornamented with the heads and tails of birds. No. 65576 is an unusually fine example. Besides the features described it has been farther embellished by four incised lines which encircle the rim, forming a loop on the opposite sides as seen in  Bowl 9 inches in diameter.

earthen vessel

Fig. 186.

65553. Small bowl, the rim of which has been embellished by four pairs of nodes. Diameter, 6 inches.


earthen vesselearthen vessel
Fig. 187.Fig. 188.

65547. A small globular cup of dark ware which has four large nodes about the rim, Between these on the sides of the vessel, four ornamental figures have been painted in red, these consist of an inner circle occupied by a cross, and an exterior circle of rays or scallops. Height, 2½ inches; width, 3½ inches.

The rim has been perforated for the purpose of suspension.

65487, 65512, 65514, 65519, 65521, 65523, 65525, 65531. Bottle-shaped vases. The bodies are generally globular. A few are conical above, while others are much compressed vertically. Some are slightly ridged about the greatest circumference, while all are slightly flattened on the bottom. The necks are slender and long, being about equal to the body in height. They are generally narrowest in the middle, expanding trumpet-like toward the mouth, and widening more or less abruptly toward the shoulder below. In a few cases a ridge or collar encircles the base of the neck. The exterior surface is generally quite smooth, but never polished, although a polishing implement seems to have been used.

503The largest is 9 inches in height and 7 inches in diameter. No. 65501 has a very tasteful incised design, encircling the shoulder as shown in  Diameter 6½ inches.

earthen vessel

Fig. 189.

65520. Vase similar to the above in form, but with the addition of a base or stand, 1 inch high and 3 inches in diameter at the base.

65486. Same, with the base divided into three parts, forming a kind of tripod, the legs being flat. Height, 9 inches.

earthen vesselearthen vessel
Fig. 190.Fig. 191.

65513, 65526, 65530, 65532, 65539. Bottle or jug shaped vases, resembling the preceding, but having wide, short necks. illustrates a typical form. Height, 4¼ inches.

65485. A vase similar to the above, but of yellowish gray ware, decorated with a design in broad red and white lines. Height, 6 inches; width, 6 inches. Height of neck, 2 inches; width, 3 inches.

earthen vessel
Fig. 192.

65538. Similar to the above in shape, but with flattish body, and peculiar in having two small handles or ears at the base of the neck. Diameter, 5 inches.


65548, 65561, 65562, 65564, 65569. Small caps, with low, wide necks, and globular or subglobular bodies, having two handles or ears which connect the lip with the shoulder.


65572. A cup like the above, with four handles.

65563, 65565, 65568. Small cups similar to the preceding, but having a variety of indented ornaments about the shoulder and upper part of the body; these ornaments consist of wide vertical lines, or of encircling scalloped lines.Diameter of each, 4½ inches.

earthen vesselearthen vessel
Fig. 193.Fig. 194.


65570. Has six nodes about the circumference, and a scalloped figure of three incised lines encircling the vessel above them. The handles have oblique incised lines upon the outer surface.

earthen vessel
Fig. 195.

65588, 65590. Bowls with scalloped rims. The largest is 9 inches in diameter and 3 inches in height. 

65574, 65575, 65586, 65587, 65591, 65593. Plain bowls, of various sizes, and somewhat varied shapes. Drawn one-half the real size.

earthen vesselearthen vessel
Fig. 196.Fig. 197.