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Mississippi Valley Archaeology Center

Rock Art – Portable – Pipestone Tablet

March 8, 2016

Pipestone tabletPortable rock art such as this pipestone tablet is sometimes found at village and camp sites. If found with pottery, stone tools, charcoal, or other material, portable rock art can often be dated more easily than glyphs carved or painted onto walls. This tablet shows a large circle with radiating lines that might represent the sun. To the right is a circle surrounding a headless “bird-man” with a star above and a moon to the right. This tablet was found on a 500-year-old village site near La Crosse, WI, but the pipestone came from southwestern Minnesota, nearly 250 miles to the west.