Central States Archaeological Societies
Central States Archaeological Societies
Connect with CSASI on facebook

A Great White Sharks Tooth from Bridgeton

by John T. Crowley
and Steven R. Cooper E.I.C.

Central States Archaeological Societies 2009 July Journal


Three small one inch fossil sharks teeth found by Steven R . Cooper on “Shark’s Tooth Beach” outside of Fort Meyers,Florida in1975. This beach was famous for finding sharks teeth. It was said that if you went far out into the surf you could find the big ones.

I was going over e-mails that I have stored for Central States and noticed the last correspondence I received from John Crowley prior to his passing. Rereading it reminded me of our last phone chat. He told me he was putting together an article for the next Journal regarding a sharks tooth he had found many years ago on the Bridgeton Site. We discussed his e-mail (printed below) sent several days earlier. He enthused great excitement about writing the article. This was on Monday night, and I wish he had gone ahead and finished it that evening. But that didn’t happen and in the space of a few days he was gone. However, two sites on the Internet shared in his e-mail tell the story he didn’t have time to write.

On Larry Kinsella’s site, you can see what these ancient sharks teeth were used for. It seems they were attached to piece of wood such as you would attach a celt to make a weapon. Greg Perino actually found part of such a club between Monk’s Mound and Mound 34. Perino’s club was determined to be made of walnut. Perino uncovered five teeth with the club, now housed at the Gilcrease Institute in Tulsa. Interestingly, there were also eight flintknapped sharks teeth with the club. In all probability, real teeth were not in great supply, so the Cahokians made their own reproductions. Imagine a warrior swinging a club with a row of embedded sharks teeth in battle: I’m sure it was a scary and deadly sight. Larry shows a modern day reproduction
of such a weapon.

Go to Dr. Mike Fuller’s site and you can actually see John Crowley’s sharks tooth. Dr. Fuller has a group of surface found Mississippian arrowheads pictured on the site, and the last picture in the last row is John’s sharks tooth. Dr. Fuller mentions it as: Right (Shark's Tooth): Length = 21 mm, Width = 16 mm, Thickness = 5 mm, and Weight = 0.6 g. Below is John’s original e-mail along with the Internet links to the two sites mentioned. Subject: Great White Sharks tooth from Bridgeton

Date: Fri, 7 Nov 2008 16:47:26 +0000
Hello All,
I thought this was interesting enough to bother you all with. I found a Great White shark's tooth years ago in Bridgeton. Dr.
Mike Fuller put it on his website. Also attached is Larry Kinsella'a website. It features G.W.shark teeth Perino found at Cahokia.
Interesting...or at least I thought so. Enjoy,
You don't need to respond to this email. JTC C.S.A.S.


Copyright © C.S.A.S.I.