Bannerstone

 

Earlier this week I had someone show me a very unusual artifact for Minnesota, a bannerstone.  Bannerstones are usually found in the Eastern United States.  This link to Wikipedia provides some general information about them and their function.   This particular one was found 30 years ago during a construction project.  Most of the authentic bannerstones that I have seen from Minnesota, less than a dozen total, have been this rectangular shape.  The material it is made from is also similar to that of some of the other Minnesota bannerstones I’ve seen before.  One theory is that they were atlatl weights and would have been hafted as part of an atlatl, or spear thrower, as shown in the picture below.  The wood of the atlatl shaft passed through the hole in the bannerstone.  Bannerstones were used during the Archaic into Early Woodland time periods.