Prehistoric artists transformed marine shells into beautiful ornaments. The specimens shown—gorgets (chest pieces) from the Olmos Dam site in San Antonio—have been decorated with small punctuations drilled in geometric patterns. The cross design is an intriguing motif that occurs widely in native America; these examples are thought to date over 2100 years ago (before 100 B.C.). The shells likely are Lightning Whelk (Buscyon perversum). Photo courtesy Thomas R. Hester.
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