The Artifacts: Other (Bone, Metal, Leather, Wood)

Cowry shells are used as decoration, currency and in ritual contexts by several African cultures. Cowry shells are highly unusual at archaeological sites in the Midwest. Likewise, the carved bone or ivory elephant trunk could reflect an artist with interest in Africa. Both artifacts can be considered evidence of an African or African-American historic presence at the site. Another class of relevant artifacts include carved wooden buttons that were discovered during the 1999 seasons. The examples from the Lemp site are virtually identical in style to one found in the slave quarters of the Mount Vernon Plantation (home of George Washington). The cowry shell and ivory elephant trunk were found on 6/14/2000 and 6/15/2000 in Square 29 in locus 4. The soil matrix was blackish streaks within a reddish (5YR2.5/2) soil.

A cowry shell and an elephants trunk (carved from ivory) were found in unit 29 where they were sealed beneath the patio level with man other artifacts and animal bones. Excavations were particularly deep in unit 29 because the NE cornerstone of the house was approximately 3 meters below datum

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A collection of bones and a bottle found together during 2001 under an intentionally sealed surface. These bones and bottle could be interpreted within Traditional African religious rituals as a divination kit or a ritual offering to a deity of meat and drink.




Bone bracelet from the mid 19th Century found during the 2000 season of fieldwork at the Lemp Site.


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French military button.


Missouri Tax Token dated 1865.


Street car conductor's button, post Civil War.

Wooden cistern water bucket found at the bottom of cistern #1 (21004). Manufactured during the. mid to late 1800's



Man's leather boot/shoe found at the bottom of cistern #1 (21004)

Studded bottom women's leather boot was found at the bottom of cistern #1 (21004). It is very well preserved because of the wet muddy conditions in the cistern kept
oxygen from the leath. It dates from the mid to late 1800's

Michael Pfferkorn Numismatic and token expert identifies a Bastille Day Commemorative coin.

Both written documents and excavation suggest that a coal and lumber yard was once located on the property, and enough metal slag was found to suggest that at least some metal working took place at the site. Many handmade ceramic marbles have been recovered from the site. Marbles were commonly manufactured as part of a cottage industry