Native American Artifacts – Mississippian Pottery

Published on March 15, 2013 by Carol

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Mississippian Pottery

Mississippian Head Pots are considered a pinnacle of the Mississippian culture and are among the most rare and unique clay vessels. Made between A.D. 1200-A.D. 1500, they are distinguished from other pots in that they are formed to the shape of a human head.

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Only around 140 of these effigy head vessels have been recovered. Head pots are often thought to be a representation of the dead, a death mask. These pots were often shown with painted surfaces and engraved lines depicting tattooing. There is evidence of ear and nose piercing being practiced and the head pots often have perforations depicting this. These vessels may have been adorned with feathers or other material before they were buried as an offering. The largest number of these rare pots has been found in southeast Missouri and Northeast Arkansas.

Source: Museum of Native America Unabridged
Based on the collective work of, © 2015 Native American Encyclopedia.
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