Above are four fine Caddo engraved bottles. The workmanship and quality of these bottles is extraordinary. All are highly burnished, with exquisite engraving. At top left is a Hodges Engraved bottle from Hempstead County, Arkansas. It stands 73/4 inches high and is 6 1/2" inches wide. It features a series of cross-hatched bands and an interesting circular motif in the center. At top right is a fabulous 8 inch tall Haley style water bottle with engraved scrolls and tick marks to create a complicated design highlighted with red ochre. It is from Hempstead County, Arkansas. At bottom left is another Hodges bottle. It stands 71A inches tall and is almost 5 inches in diameter. It has an elegant design filled with red ochre, and was found at the Davis Site in Pike County, Arkansas. At bottom right is a Natchitoches Engraved bottle from Miller County, Arkansas. Over 5 inches tall and 4 1/2" inches wide, it features quite exceptional complex engraving utilizing scrolls, crosshatched areas and ticked lines.
The collecting and display of Indian artifacts goes back a long way in time. One of the first collections was that of Ephraim Squire, who in the 1840's documented the earthworks of the Midwest in the tremendous work, Ancient Monuments of the Mississippi Valley. He put together a fabulous collection of artifacts including perhaps the finest grouping of Hopewell pipes ever assembled. When he tried to find a home to house the vast collection, he discovered that no American institution wanted it. The Smithsonian, which had published the book, rejected it outright. The other institutions he approached maintained they didn't have a place to show it. Eventually he sold the collection to William Blackmore of London, and today these artifacts sit in the British Museum.
Up until the 1970's, many museums displayed the artifacts of the prehistoric Native Americans. However, the American Indian movement of the 1980's discouraged display and the showing of any artifact that was ancient. The focus was on historic and modern Indians. Many museums changed their displays to reflect this new thinking and their wonderful artifact collections found a new home in their basements, stored and packed away.
It would take someone with foresight and a Cherokee Indian heritage to change things. David Bogle of Bentonville, Arkansas bought a collection of arrowheads from his former Boy Scout leader, the late John Fryer in 2002. What started out as a collection of local arrowheads soon became an obsession. David began to build a collection of artifacts from all time periods. This rapidly grew, and he started to concentrate on assembling the rarest and finest he could locate.
Many collectors would be satisfied just owning the collection and showing it to friends. However, David had a novel idea. Instead of just being a collector, why not share his collection with everyone? Furthermore, he thought it would be great to encourage others to share their collections too. Soon the idea of a museum open to the public was born. David felt certain that if he shared his artifacts in this way, others would develop the same fascination and respect he had for the artwork and skills of Native Americans.
David opened his Museum of Native American Artifacts in 2007, utilizing a converted house to display the collection. However, the plan was to go much further, and on July 10th, 2008, the museum opened in a new location utilizing 5,000 square feet of exhibit space.
In order to insure a high standard for this effort, David brought on board Bob Winkle-man, who used to be heavily involved with the University of Arkansas Museum. That facility had closed, due to funding issues, and the collection moved to a huge storage facility. David made contact with the University, and he was given access to the two million artifacts in their collection. Now these artifacts could again be on display for the public to see. Finally, he hired Matt Rowe as a curator and exhibition developer. Matt's knowledge of artifacts is a great asset to the museum.
Above left is a flint knapping display that shows the reduction stages or "life" of a point, along with 3D hands coming out of the wall showing how knapping is accomplished (pressure and percus-, sion). In the middle is the bannerstone and birdstone display. To the right is a hardstone display that contains various axes, gouges,celts,chisels and other woodworking implements. The beautiful mural shown at the museum entrance (previous page at the top) was painted by very talented local artist, Kelly Green. She also painted other murals throughout the museum.
Native Americans have been in North America for more than 14,000 years. Realizing that they left behind virtually millions of artifacts, David has decided the museum should contain the best that can be located. Not only does this make the collection more appealing, but it also makes the museum significant. Rather than just display a history of the Native American presence in North America, the museum will display this history with their finest achievements.
The exhibition Hero, Hawk and Open Hand is the museum's model for excellence. This 2004 traveling exhibition attempted to bring together the finest artifacts of Prehistoric North America in a concise and modern way. The Museum ofNative American Artifacts will continue in the footsteps of that exhibition, providing a compelling and visual history of the achievements of Native Americans.
The museum houses everything from Paleo to Historic items. On display is some of the finest pottery ever to
come out of Arkansas, including the largest grouping of rare Arkansas "headpots" ever shown at one time. It
is located at 202 Southwest 0 Street, which is just west of downtown Bentonville off of State Highway 72.
It is open from 10ANI-3PM Tuesday thru Saturday.
Admission is free. Phone: (479) 273-2456
The museum's pottery display features treasures from the museum collection, private collections and the University of Arkansas collection. On the right is a portion of the display of Mississippian pottery vessels. Above is a view of one of the exceptional Quapaw exhibits.
The museum also has on display artifacts from some of the premier private collections, many never before available for public viewing. Above are two pieces on loan from the Kent C. Westbrook collection. At the left is the Quapaw effigy teapot known as "The Screaming Quapaw". Considered one of the masterpieces of prehistoric Quapaw artistic achievement, this vessel utilizes paint, engraving, cult symbols and the human form to create an amazing image. It is unique and visually stunning. It measures more than nine inches in length and is from White County, Arkansas. Next to it is a "Dog" teapot effigy vessel. It is painted in the Avenue Polychrome style with additional artistic enhancement of the facial area. It is from Lee County, Arkansas and measures fifteen inches in length.
Above is a very rare Otter Effigy Teapot vessel from Lee County, Arkansas in the museum collection. The museum has been utilizing modern techniques to further understand and explore the work of prehistoric man. First, thermoluminescence dating techniques were utilized to establish the age of the piece. This technique measures how much time has passed since an object was last heated. This provided a date of 200 — 400 BP Then they had a CT scan made of the vessel. The CT scan technique utilizes computerized x-ray images to produce cross sectional views and three dimensional images. The CT scan of this vessel (shown above) clearly reveals drilled holes and some attempted salvage work by its prehistoric maker.
Also at the museum are some of the fine Arkansas points on display at the museum. At the top right are a group of 13 Agee gem points plus one Hayes point all made of Novaculite. These were all found by Glenn Kizzia at the Kidd Site. They each measure approximately one inch in length. Below those is an extremely rare Ozan Creek point. It is the type example that is pictured in Perino's guide. It was found by Rick Steed in Ozan Creek near Blevins, Arkansas. It is made of Novaculite. An unusual aspect of this style is that they are flaked and then ground. They are associated with Late Archaic Period Poverty Point culture. Below that on the left is a fantastic serrated Alba point from the Crenshaw Mound site in Arkansas. To the right of that is a translucent Hayes point made of Novaculite also from Arkansas. To the left of this grouping is an incredible Dalton style point found in Arkansas that measures over 7 3A inches long. The oblique flaking on this late Paleo point is truly superb.
The above grouping presents some of the finest Quapaw pottery ever created. At top left is a beautiful teapot utilizing a fawn as its effigy form. At center left is a concentric circled teapot from Yell County, Arkansas. Traces of the original black pigment are still visible. At bottom left is a teapot in the form of an otter. Both are from Lee County, Arkansas. At top right is a polychrome long necked bottle utilizing a stylized mace motif as its decoration. The fine effigy teapot in the center right is from Phillips County, Arkansas, and utilizes unusual concentric circles and a "daisy" around the hole on top. The polychrome long necked bottle at bottom right has concentric bands and is from the Hudnall Site in Lee County, Arkansas. It and the effigy above it both have visible traces of the original black pigment remaining.
At top are a group of four Alba points from a cache found at the Crenshaw Mound Site in Miller County, Arkansas. Next to it at top right is a beautiful Quapaw sunburst motif bottle from Lee County, Arkansas. At right bottom, is a long necked polychrome bottle in the form of a melon from Cross County, Arkansas. Bottom left is a wonderful pedestal water bottle decorated with the Nashville Negative painting technique. This involves covering the vessel with a waxy substance and then scraping away the wax except for the design pattern. Then the rest of the surface is painted. Once the vessel is fired, the wax disappears and the light design will stand out against the dark painted background. These vessels are rare to find exhibiting their original painted condition, as the design features fade rapidly when exposed to sunlight.
All of the artifacts on this page were personally found in Arkansas by the late Gregory Perino. The clay elbow pipe at top left was found on the White River. At top right is a Mississippian Period Nodena melon effigy red & white striped water bottle. It was found by Gregory Perino at the huge Rose Mound site in Cross County, Arkansas. It has a noticeable stain of copper residue, due to a copper object resting against it. The two effigies at bottom left are very rare specimens that were found together by Greg at the Barton Ranch site in Northeast Arkansas. The larger clay effigy is of a hummingbird and the smaller one is of a turtle. The small turtle has a hole through the neck of it, so it could be worn as a pendant. At the bottom right is a unusual Mississippian double-disc pipe found in Arkansas.
"Used by Permission of the Author"
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