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Catalog Data

Richard K. Meyer  Search this
Donor Name:
Richard K. Meyer  Search this
Site Name:
Craig Mound  Search this
Length - Object:
ca. 30.5 cm
Width - Object:
ca. 16 cm
Thickness - Object:
ca. 13 cm
Prehistoric  Search this
Object Type:
Spiro, Le Flore County, Oklahoma, United States, North America
Accession Date:
30 Dec 1966
Style: Effigy Raw Material 2: Red Shape/Form: Human Alteration: Mechanical Manufacturing Notes: Only decoration on base is the excision of the feet. Drilled hole in earlobe. Left earlobe damaged. Design: Seated cross-legged. Large painted head. Realistically modelled. Surface Modification: Painted Residue: Remnants of adhesive and Cu in eyes. Red paint residue in mouth. White paint residue around mouth and on cheeks. Traces of Cu elsewhere on body. Right ear has a bit of cordage through drilled hole in lobe. Use Trace: Right arm broken in 2 places. Repaired and filled with some sort of filler which has been colored brown to match the object. Front portion of legs has cracked & there is residue (filler - glue?) in the cracks. Left hand is damaged. Back was stabbed 4 times in a line running from the man's upper left to the lower right. The holes are square in outline and depths starting in upper hole are 0.3 cm, 0.75 cm, 0.3 cm, 0.98 cm. Comments: Deeply sunken eyes which held insets now missing (they may have been copper). Forehead is high and not flattened (i.e. no cranial deformation). Nose is aquiline and the nostrils are shown. The lips protrude around an open mouth fillef with red paint. Head is 10.77 cm long, 8.9 cm wide. Long neck w/clearly defined clavicle. Width at shoulder is 13.44 cm. Pectorals are modeled on chest. Man is nude and w/o any ornament. Male genitalia realistically sculpted. Sits cross-legged with feet tucked underneath knees, and hands resting on knees. No footwear, toes visible. Area between crotch and legs is carved out, leaving a space. Back shows no detail - no buttocks definition as on pipes. Stab holes could have been used to mount the figure. (Hard to imagine a collector who would damage such a sculpture by hanging it on nails - but something happened.)
From card: "Figure of man seated cross-legged, with hands on knees. Figure is cracked at both shoulders, left wrist, right elbow & between knees. Left ear decayed but remarkably well preserved. Illus., Hamilton 1952, Pl. 26, right. Illus.: Brose, David S. 1985. Ancient Art of the American Woodland Indians; Pl. 96, pg. 138. Identified there as Seated Male Figure; wood, pigment. Spiro phase, Caddoan culture, Mississippian period, A.D. 1200 - 1350." The figure is sometimes referred to as "Spiro Man."
Record Last Modified:
30 Aug 2016
Site Number:
Specimen Count:
Archaeology  Search this
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Data Source:
NMNH - Anthropology Dept.