Title

Bone Pins: Manufacture, Function, and Purpose In Southeastern Coastal Late Archaic Societies

Author(s)

Gavin TaylorFollow

School Name

South Carolina Governor's School for Science & Mathematics

Grade Level

12th Grade

Presentation Topic

Sociology

Presentation Type

Mentored

Abstract

Bone Pins are small archaeological artifacts that appear in many Native American Societies, more specifically in the southeast. The pin designs vary in placement and style, with half of them intricately decorated. The method of engraving is unidentified, but is hypothesized to either be using stone flakes or shells. Their function and purpose are also unknown. A likely theory is their use as a hairpin or to bind clothes. This is due to their relative fragility and lack of consistent wear/fracture, suggesting non-intensive usage. However, this is not the only theory; another suggests their use in tattooing. The bone pin could be ideal for this purpose, as the to could create the small holes required for this art. One theory suggests their use in weaving, as the tops of the pins would have allowed for the utilization in basket weaving. However, these are all theories, and more research must be performed to provide more insight into this subject. A greater purpose may be established via the patterns at threatened coastal sites in the southeastern United States, such as the shell rings of Pockoy Island (which provided most of the pins used in this study) that span from the coast of Mississippi to South Carolina. Many of these sites contained bone pins and existed at the same time, the late archaic period. Despite the minute size of the bone pin, they potentially served a larger function and purpose in the societies of the late archaic period.

Location

Furman Hall 207

Start Date

3-28-2020 12:15 PM

Presentation Format

Oral Only

Group Project

No

COinS
 
Mar 28th, 12:15 PM

Bone Pins: Manufacture, Function, and Purpose In Southeastern Coastal Late Archaic Societies

Furman Hall 207

Bone Pins are small archaeological artifacts that appear in many Native American Societies, more specifically in the southeast. The pin designs vary in placement and style, with half of them intricately decorated. The method of engraving is unidentified, but is hypothesized to either be using stone flakes or shells. Their function and purpose are also unknown. A likely theory is their use as a hairpin or to bind clothes. This is due to their relative fragility and lack of consistent wear/fracture, suggesting non-intensive usage. However, this is not the only theory; another suggests their use in tattooing. The bone pin could be ideal for this purpose, as the to could create the small holes required for this art. One theory suggests their use in weaving, as the tops of the pins would have allowed for the utilization in basket weaving. However, these are all theories, and more research must be performed to provide more insight into this subject. A greater purpose may be established via the patterns at threatened coastal sites in the southeastern United States, such as the shell rings of Pockoy Island (which provided most of the pins used in this study) that span from the coast of Mississippi to South Carolina. Many of these sites contained bone pins and existed at the same time, the late archaic period. Despite the minute size of the bone pin, they potentially served a larger function and purpose in the societies of the late archaic period.