Prehistoric artists made fine shell ornaments using simple technologies and tools, as reconstructed in this experimental study by archeological steward Bill Birmingham. In this example, he creates a pendant from the shell of a large marine lightning whelk, using the groove and snap method. In the top two photos, he uses a chipped stone biface with sharp edge to create a "V"- shaped groove. The pendant "blank" is then snapped apart from the larger shell. Finally, Birmingham uses a pump drill with a pointed chipped-stone tip to drill holes into the pendant. Photo montage courtesy of Robert Shook, from a display in the Museum of the Coastal Bend, Victoria.
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