Columella Beveled Tool- Palm Beach, FL

View this post on Instagram

#ExperimentalArchaeology is the re-creation of technology from the past in order to prove or disprove our ideas about what life was like! Here, we have a replica tool made from the columella, or central spiral, of a #conch shell (above) and a real columella tool (below). These tools may have been used to drill into South Florida's soft limestone bedrock. Understanding how #shell tools were made is an important part of studying Florida's past! . . #archaeology #history #historic #prehistory #science #doingscience #artifact #artifacts #shells #prehistory #prehistoric #exarc #pubarch #art #florida #oldflorida #floridahistory #flhistory #tequesta #jeaga #mayaimi #stem #steam #sofla #southflorida #floridalife #saltlife

A post shared by FPAN Southeast (@fpansoutheast) on

 

Columella describes the central spiral of a shell that was used to create a variety of tools in the prehistoric era. Coastal communities shaped columellas into beads, plummets, adzes, drills, and hammers. However, some beveled tools have a mysterious hollowed feature similar to the one recovered in Southeast Florida. Archaeologists have interpreted this object as a drilling tool that anchored wooden structural frames to limestone foundations.

Sources:

  • Dockall, Helen Danzeiser, and John E. Dockall. “The shell assemblage from Morhiss (41VT1), an Archaic site on the West Gulf Coastal Plain.” Southeastern Archaeology (1996): 211-229.
  • Walker, Karen J. “The material culture of Precolumbian fishing: artifacts and fish remains from coastal Southwest Florida.” Southeastern Archaeology (2000): 24-45.
  • Petersen, James B., Malinda Blustain, and James W. Bradley. “” MAWOOSHEN” REVISITED: TWO NATIVE AMERICAN CONTACT PERIOD SITES ON THE CENTRAL MAINE COAST.” Archaeology of Eastern North America (2004): 1-71.