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Field Division of Education
Tuzigoot - The Excavation and Repair of a Ruin on the Verde River near Clarkdale, Arizona
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A people who have produced works of art have had very good reasons for being able to do so. Leisure time along with happiness and a settled life promote a feeling for finer things. The inhabitants of Tuzigoot must have had considerable leisure time because they produced a great deal of very fine jewelry.

It is hard to divide the jewelry into groups according to materials because some pieces are made from two materials or even from three. For example: Some shells are covered with turquoise mosaic and have an inlay of pipestone or shell for the center piece, or a necklace might be composed of stone and shell beads. A description will be given of the more outstanding pieces of jewelry round and then a general summary will be made of materials and methods used in their manufacture.

Turquoise mosaic on shell, wood or other solid materials was one of the accomplishments of pueblo peoples. At Tuzigoot was found evidence of turquoise mosaic on shell, wood and in one case on an arm-band which might have been made of basketry. The small bits of polished turquoise were fastened to the solid base by a gum (possibly pine or pinyon) mixed with a slight amount of clay. In several instances this gum had faithfully withstood the ravages of time end when uncovered the mosaics were almost as beautiful and strong as the day they were buried. Two pieces of turquoise inlay work done on shell representing frogs (Plate XVII) and one made into a pendant (Plate XVII) were the best examples. Another pendant (Fig. 14) had been made by inlaying turquoise and a circular piece of yellow shell on a disc of shell and finally fastening this disc on a much larger background of pink and white pecten shell.

Fig. 14. Turquoise and shell inlay on a pink and white pecten shell.

Plate XVII. A (top). Turquoise inlay on shell to represent frogs. Central inlay of pipestone. B (bottom). A pendant of turquoise inlaid on shell.

Jewelry made of shell was an important part of the personal adornment of these peoples and many different species of shell were used by them. The following species were identified by Dr. Stillman S. Berry of Redlands, California:

1. Olivella of Dama (Wood)
2. Trivia solandri (Grey)
3. Oliva sp.
4. Pecten sp.
5. Glycimeris sp.
6. Turritella sp.
7. Cypraea sp.
8. Conus cf. purpurascens (Broderip)
9. Cerithidea sp. of. albonodosa (Carpenter)
10. Nasserius complanatus (Powys)
11. Neritina picta (Sowerby)
12. Haliotis sp.
13. Laevicardium elatum (Sowerby)
14. Anadonta sp. (Fresh water mussel)
15. Otolith (Ear bone of fish)

For the most part these shells, except one, represent species from the Gulf of California and West Mexico. The exception, Anadonta sp., is of the fresh water variety of mussel found in swampy country. Otolith, although not a shell, has been included here. The source of these shells then suggests two facts; first, that there were definite trade relations with people farther to the south, and second, that at one time the country along the Verde River must have been of a much more swampy nature to have produced fresh water mussels than it now is.

In all hundreds of broken shell ornaments were found and over a thousand broken shell fragments. Fifty-four complete shell bracelets, eight complete shell rings sixteen pendants of glycimeris six pendants of the shiny anadonta, four pendants of haliotis, and twenty strings of beads either of shell, or shell and stone.

One of the most outstanding finds was an engraved shell bracelet (Fig. 13) made from a glycimeris shell. The design consists of frets of interlocked hooks.

Fig. 13. Engraved shell bracelet (Glycimeris).

Besides shell jewelry there was a considerable amount of jewelry made of stone. Turquoise has already been treated in the discussion of mosaics. Fifty-seven turquoise pendants were found exclusive of the string of one hundred and sixty-one turquoise pendants interspersed between eight hundred and five black stone beads found in the rich burial of a medicine man. Six hundred and fifty-two pieces of cut pipestone, some square and some six sided, were all found in one cache. These were undoubtedly bead blanks. They averaged 1/4 inch square. Numerous pipestone pendants and pieces of worked hemetite occurred. The use of calcite for the making of pendants also was rather common.

Grinding and drilling were the two outstanding methods of working materials into shape for jewelry. In making bracelets the shells were probably incised around the edges until the part wanted was broken off. Then it was ground into the finished product. Shell beyond blanks were first made by grinding pieces into blanks and then drilling. After the holes were in, the blanks must have been strung and then ground into shape while strung. They same would apply to stone beads.


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