Author Topic: Cahokian birdman tablet - an experiment  (Read 4412 times)

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Offline swamp monkey

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Cahokian birdman tablet - an experiment
« on: February 26, 2011, 04:32:28 pm »
I read a lot on mound builders and Cahokia in particular.  Their tools and art fascinate me and I am intrigued as to why such a large civilization would collapse.  Any how as I read about the Cahokians I would run on to images of the bird man tablet, which is a sandstone tablet with a man in falcon costume on the front and snake scale pattern on the back. 

Grindage: So I found some sandstone and spit it out along the grain to tablet thickness then I wore it out on a rough igneous rock to wear down the sides to make it rectangular. 

Grooving: With a piece of charcoal I sketched the design.  Then I used a 16 p nail to groove a bit.  It worked fine.  So I got more inquisitive and tried an antler tip.  That was no fun as the point kept dulling.  So I took a piece of copper wire I have left over from a wiring project and sharpened it.  It worked rather well like the nail.  Cahokians had access to copper.  I tried bone and it was OK but the bone kept dulling and breaking.  I did not think to use flint but I should have.   I may do another.

Finish: well I think the sandstone I used had a larger grain than that original tablet.  the final pattern did not show up well at all.  So I will need to use some finer material and do this again to replicate the original's "luster".  Well, even though it was not perfect I could not throw it away so I painted the lines with a slightly darker paint and placed the product on a stump that sits on my porch. 

Offline jamie

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Re: Cahokian birdman tablet - an experiment
« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2011, 08:24:54 am »
its like i cant wait to see what you are gonna do next. =)
"Man is a tool-using animal. Without tools he is nothing, with tools he is all."

waterbury, ct

Offline Pappy

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Re: Cahokian birdman tablet - an experiment
« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2011, 10:15:02 am »
I'm with you jamie. Very cool stuff. :)
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