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spiromound-0001- Figure 1: The Bell-Townsend-Onken Blade

This artifact was recovered from The Spiro Mound, reportedly by Bill Heydon Vandagriff, and purchased for $15.00 on the spot by Robert E. Bell for his father’s collection. The blade was broken in one place and was glued together as shown in the photograph taken April 15, 1935. This break can be identified by a small shadow in the middle of the blade, about one-fourth of the way up from the base.

It is pictured in color in Who’s Who in Indian Relics, #5 (1980), where it is said; “this 13 1/8 inch flint lance has a maximum thickness at one spot of only 3/8 inch.” It was item # 103 in the Harry T. Bell collection at Marion, Ohio, until July 30, 1956, when Earl C. Townsend, Jr. purchased the Bell collection. It is currently in the collection of Bobby Onken. The blade is shown in the Townsend collection in Mr. Onken’s Legends of Prehistoric Art, Volume 1, page 97 and will also be featured in Masterpieces of Prehistoric Art - Volume 1. It was also shown in color on the cover of the “Prehistoric American” Volume XXXVII Number 3, 2003.

spiromound-0008- Figure 8: 3000 arrowpoints

This photograph shows an incredible cache of around 3,000 arrowheads. This cache was found in April 1935. These were sold to Mr. Cooperrider of Indianapolis, Indiana, a secondhand furniture dealer, for a price of $100. Dr. Robert E. Bell said the cache would fit in his camera bag (See Photograph 12). They are shown sitting on someone’s lunch sack.

spiromound-0012- Figure 12: The Tribute Points Frame

Mr. Schellenberger of Dardanelle, Arkansas originally assembled this outstanding frame of 205 bird points from Spiro. Robert E. Bell took this picture in April 1935. The picture was shown to Mr. Schwem who managed the local S.S. Kresge’s 5 & 10 store in Bell’s hometown of Marion, Ohio. (Kresge’s became K Mart.) Although he was not a collector, he asked Bell to purchase the frame for him. Bell arranged the transaction and, for $100, the frame was obtained. Several points from this frame can be seen in the “Prehistoric American” Volume XXXVII Number 3, 2003.

spiromound-0022- Figure 22: Blade and mace cache: Part 1

This photograph shows ten of the long narrow blades from the Wehrle Cache. These were purchased from Lear Howell of Glenwood, Arkansas by A.T. Wehrle of Newark, Ohio and later donated to the Ohio Historical Society. There were a total of 17 blades plus three maces in the group sold to Mr. Wehrle. There may have been other pieces originally in the cache and sold elsewhere. Six out of this group of bladesare shown in Hamilton (1952), Plate 46. The longest is 22” long and is included in the Hamilton picture. The remainder of the cache is pictured in Figure 23.

 

spiromound-0023- Figure 23: Blade and mace cache: Part 2

This photograph shows the remaining items from the Wehrle Cache shown in Figure 22. These two photographs show a total of twenty artifacts found in a cache at Spiro in August 1935. There may have been a few additional pieces in this cache not included in this collection. This photograph shows seven of the long narrow blades, also called swords, and the three chipped chert maces that were purchased by A.T. Wehrle from Lear Howell. The longest blade in this photograph is 17” long and the longest mace is 16 3/8” long. These maces are pictured in Hamilton (1952), Plate 43, and six of the swords from the cache, not any of the examples shown in this photograph, are shown in his Plate 46.

 

spiromound-0046- Figure 46: Repousse male profile in copper with two earspools

This picture shows an 11” cutout copper sheet human head effigy with repousse designs. Below it are shown two stone earspools with copper coverings. The figure in the cutout can be seen wearing such an earspool. Also, from the occipital hairknot is a copper feather that curves up over the head. It is clear that this is not simulating a real feather but that it is intended to show a sheet copper plume hair ornament such as those seen in Figures 41 and 42. The eyes are almond-shaped and are within a forked or weeping eye design. This eye design is like the marking of the peregrine falcon. This piece is shown in Ancient Art of the American Woodland Indians on page 142, plate 100 (catalog number 95). It is also shown in Hamilton (1952) Plate 73, and Hamilton, et. al. Spiro Mound Copper (1974), Figure 88. This piece is now at the Ohio Historical Society, the result of an exchange with Robert Bell and Robert Phelps of Marion, Ohio, arranged by Henry C. Shetrone, Director, Ohio State Museum. This piece is listed as inventory item 1393.1A. This profile was part of a cache that included eight copper feather pieces. See Figures 41, 42, 43, 44 and 45 (left) for other items in the cache.

 

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