If you are ever in the town of Safety Harbor west of Tampa, Florida, visit the Safety Harbor Museum of Regional History. It is likely that there will be no other visitors and you will get personalized attention from the 2 friendly museum attendants. Although the museum consists only of 2 large rooms, you may end up spending a few hours going thru them.
One room displays artifacts about the city's past, including old photographs, typewriters, household tools, while the other room displays older artifacts from Florida's past, including items related to various Spanish explorers, American Indians and even fossils.
Among the items that attracted my attention were several sea shells recovered during excavations of local Indian sites. For example, these bivalve shells, probably arks (Arcidae), each had a hole thru its umbo. Were they used as pendants?
Here is a large gastropod shell that was cut open. Its label, "Chief's Cup", implies that it was used as a drinking vessel. According to another label, the cup was used for a "strong, black beverage made from the leaves [of a plant] from the holly family" during a type of council meeting called the "black tea ceremony".
And then there were these reconstructed "tools".
The accompanying labels says "One of the principal uses of the adz was in hollowing out dug-out canoes." I find it hard to believe that such a flimsy contraption could have been used to dig a canoe out of a tree trunk. I need a bit more supporting evidence before I can take that claim seriously. It seems to me that it would have been easier just to hold the shell, if it was indeed a tool, in one's hand to do the carving.
Part 2 of this series is here.