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Mississippi Valley Archaeology Center

Tainter – Cradleboard

December 1, 2016

Tainter pictograph of a cradleboard On the ceiling just inside the entrance to Tainter Cave is a drawing that appears to show a cradleboard. The figure has a circular head inside a rectangular box with horizontal lines across the body area and a smaller circle on the chest area. Cradleboards were often used by Native peoples to carry babies. They tended to cause flattening of the back of the skull, and burials from a 1500-year-old site in the same valley show evidence of that type of flattening. Tainter Cave is in southwestern Wisconsin.