Conch shell fragments

Paul Huey states, “Among the mid-18th-century artifacts there has been a lot of oyster and clam shell fragments.  Some of the clam shell fragments could be from wampum making, but so far I have not seen any actual evidence of clam shell wampum making: no broken beads or bead wasters.  BUT, there are also numerous fragments of broken conch shell, and these must surely have been from making wampum beads.

Today (September 14, 2016), in continuing my study of the artifacts, I made an important discovery: the first definite evidence of shell bead making at the Schuyler Flatts, in the mid-18th century.  There is a small piece of conch shell, rather typical, but then on the edge I noticed three tiny pin holes.  Close examination indicates they are very fine drill holes, for beads that for some reason were not completed.”

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