Document Type


Publication Title

American Antiquity

Publication Date



Hopewell, residue analysis, use wear, faunal analysis, craft production


Modified teeth and jaws have long been recognized as important ceremonial objects during the Middle Woodland period of eastern North America. Direct evidence for the manufacture of the objects is exceedingly rare because they are typically recovered from mortuary contexts or ceremonial caches. Here, we present multiple lines of evidence pointing to the manufacture of modified teeth and jaws at the Moorehead Circle post enclosure within the Fort Ancient Earthworks. The convergence of protein residue, lithic use-wear, and faunal data indicate that bear and likely canid bones were modified by artisans working within the Moorehead Circle. These findings add an important new layer of understanding to our knowledge of these objects, human–animal relations, and craft production in the Middle Woodland.

Funding Source

This article was published Open Access thanks to a transformative agreement between Milner Library and Cambridge University Press.


This article was published in American Antiquity 88, no. 2 (2023): 227-251. DOI:

This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (, which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.