History Nebraska Blog

Native American Heritage Month: Artifacts from NSHS Archeology

November is Native American Heritage Month. To celebrate, we will highlight Native American artifacts in our collections every Wednesday during the month of November. (Wild Weather Wednesday will be on hiatus.) Today we are focusing on artifacts from our archeological collections. The ones we have chosen to highlight here are just a handful of the collections that include information about the past and present influences of Native Americans in Nebraska. Hunter-Gatherers

 8393-1: Clovis Point


 8393-1: Clovis Point



8393-1: Clovis Point. Evidence of human activity in Nebraska dates back at least 12,000 years. This item was likely found in eastern Nebraska (based on donor address).

 25YK2: Bannerstone (atlatl weight) from York County


 25BT3-2329, 25BT3-2321, 25BT3-111: Early Archaic points dating from 6000 to 8000 years ago. These came from a site in Burt County and are among the oldest notched points found in Nebraska.




       25GD1-887, 25GD1-1009-2


  • 25GD1-887, 25GD1-1009-2: Mano Y Metate, foragers used hand stones and grinding slabs to process wild seeds and nuts. This set is from an Archaic site in Garden County.

First Farmers Objects below date to between AD 1000 and AD 1400 and represent Nebraska’s first dedicated farmers.  These farmers built sturdy “wattle-and-daub” lodges along the terraces of rivers and tributary streams.  The dwellings were constructed with wooden posts and enclosed by thatch and earth; they had long entryways, central hearths, and large interior subterranean pits used to store crops such as corn, beans, squash and sunflowers.  Hunting and fishing were still a large part of the first farmers’ livelihood.

 25FT4-170: Bison Scapula digging tool. Bison shoulder blade implements such as this were certainly used as hoes but also for digging pits, post holes, and lodge foundations. This one was unearthed at a site in Frontier County.


 25WN1-307: Bone Fishhook, Washington County


  •  Shell fish effigy recovered from a site in Burt County, Nebraska.


 25HW9-17 (etc.): Ceramic technology blossomed during the Village Farmer period. This vessel is from a site in Howard County and is typical of the period.


 25FR22-111: Stone knife in bone handle from a site in Franklin County.


 25FR6-135, 25FR13-25, 25FR26-38: Late prehistoric arrowheads recovered from site in Franklin County.



 25NC14-1: Beaver trap from Plum Creek Village in Nance County. The Pawnee lived at this village for a short period in the 1840s.



25NC3-907: Pipestone pipe from the Wright Site, a Pawnee village in Nance County. The Pawnee lived at this location over a long period of time, from 1600-1750, and again in the 1860s.



 25NC3-200/174: A ceramic potsherd recovered from the Wright Site, a Pawnee vi llage in Nance County. The Pawnee lived at this location over a long period o f time, from 1600-1750, and again in the 1860s.


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