Miami Circle - Artifacts - Shell Artifacts

Shell Artifacts

Most of the shell tools identified from the Miami Circle site are related to woodworking. Most tools were made of the queen or pink conch, though other shells were used, including the Florida horse conch, lucine clams, the helmet shell, and the West Indian chank shell. The chank shell is a rare find in southeastern Florida where it occasionally occurs in the Florida Keys.

Many of the shell tools were identified as woodworking tools similar to metal wedges, gouges, and adzes found in nineteenth century American tool boxes. The tools were concentrated in the northwestern quadrant of the Miami Circle excavation where they were probably used near the water’s edge for carving canoes and other large items like bowls and mortars. Like the analysis of bone artifacts the shell tool and ornament assemblage suggests everyday tool making and use at the site.