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Mississippi Valley Archaeology Center

Sanford Archaeological District – Elk Scapula Hoe

May 21, 2020

Elk Scapula HoeThis well-preserved hoe is made from the left scapula (shoulder blade) of an adult elk. The blade is worn, rounded, and polished from use as a hoe. The hole punched or chipped through the center is worn along the edges, indicating fiber processing or a similar secondary use. Hoes made from bison or sometimes elk scapulae are found at Oneota sites in the La Crosse area that date from about A.D. 1300 into the early 1600s. This example was found at the Sanford Archaeological District in La Crosse, Wisconsin, in the early 2000s.