Hopewell Mica Artifacts

5b.29 Hopewell Mica Artifacts

Hopewell Mica Artifacts

Mica, or isinglass, as it is also called, is a glass-like mineral that occurs in thin, somewhat flexible layers. The Hopewell culture obtained mica from western North Carolina. With their flint knives and bladelets, artisans made circular or oval "mirrors" from thick slabs of the mineral. They also cut a variety of forms from thinner sheets.

The forms are often recognizable; for example, human torsos, spear points, bear canine teeth, an animal silhouette, perhaps a bear, and a bird's claw. However, the meanings of these forms, especially of the headless human torsos, are not known.

All of the artifacts in this display were found at the Hopewell Mound Group except the "bear," which is from the Tremper mound.

Image Number: FOCase61