The Cooper Skull – The Oldest Painted Item in the Americas

Archaeology is fascinating.  It looks like a lot of fun, and it is for the first half hour or so, or until you begin to sweat profusely or you find the first tick attached to your body in some dark and itchy place.  But sometimes, just sometimes, you hit that goldmine – an Indiana Jones moment if there ever was one.

The Cooper Skull is one of those stories – and it seems to have a personality all of its own. 

Found in Oklahoma in a remote dead-end gully where bison were driven for slaughter, the Cooper Skull is believed to be a talisman.  With its beautiful red lightning bolt, it is the earliest painted item yet found in America.   

I can’t help but think of the Ancestors, some 10,000 plus years ago, asking the Creator’s help for a successful hunt.  I wonder if they intentionally left the talisman or it somehow got left behind.  Was is it a gift from the Ancestors to us today, a note just to say hello and to remind us that they were there?  Are some of their descendants reading about them today?  Judging from the talisman’s affinity for water, it seems that maybe some of its powers still remain.

You can read all about it at the PBS Timeteam site.  Enjoy!


About Roberta Estes

Scientist, author, genetic genealogist. Documenting Native Heritage through contemporaneous records and DNA.
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1 Response to The Cooper Skull – The Oldest Painted Item in the Americas

  1. Oscar Pack says:

    Were the markings, other than the lightening bolt, on the original skull?

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