Fish Hook


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As you can see, this fish hook is quite small, and would have taken a fair amount of skill to make. Deer bone appears to have been the preferred material for the manufacture of fish hooks at ancient Mississippian sites like Chucalissa, and were typically made from either long bones or toe bones. With either type of bone, the first step was to split the bone longitudinally. Then it would be ground down to thin the section of bone into a spatula-shape, and a hole would be cut into the end of the spatula (starting from the exterior side of the bone). This hole would then be expanded until the bottom edge of the bone reached the desired thinness, and the resulting fish hook-shaped loop would then be broken off. Once this stage was reached, the two ends of the fish hook itself could be worked into their final shapes: the longer shank side of the hook would be provided with either a ridge or an eye to allow the hook to be attached to some type of thread, and the shorter side - or point - could be further polished or sharpened into a barb.


Bone Tool; Deer Bone; Fish Hook; Mississippian