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Identified as an effigy by the excavators, this small figure has been caved from the toe bone of a white-tailed deer. Utilizing the natural shape of this particular bone, the ancient craftsperson carefully carved the bird’s slightly-open beak, and widened the natural divots on either side of the bone to serve as eyes. Although white-tailed deer bone is in itself a very common find and Mississippian sites, the use of bone as a material for an effigy figure is somewhat unusual: most effigies found at Mississippian sites like Chucalissa are ceramic and would have either been a structural part of an effigy vessel or would have been attached to the body of a vessel as an appliquéd decoration. The intended purpose for this small carved figure, however, is less clear: the circular hole carved into the back of the figure’s head may indicate that the piece was originally affixed to something as a decorative element, it may have been a personal adornment object that was once worn by it’s owner, or it may simply have been created for pleasure and kept as a personal talisman or keepsake


Deer Bone; Bone; Figurine; Bird Figurine; Mississippian