Researchers analyzed 31 pieces of cord from the site. Thin cords, woven with plant materials, usually do not survive so long. Cord weaving at Bayou Jasmine stands out in a few ways. First, the cords were braided, not twisted, which is a more common style found at sites in the Southeast. Examination showed that the cords have 4 to 10 strands. Second, cords from Bayou Jasmine are thinner than those archaeologists have found at other sites in the Southeast. They are an average of .06 inch, which is about the diameter of a toothpick. Third, the part of the plant that people at the site used for the cords is unusual. The Bayou Jasmine cords were made from very fine roots of a grass or sedge. At other sites in the Southeast, people used twisted grass, bark, stems, or leaves not roots. No other prehistoric sites in the U.S. have cords made from roots, and no other fiber descriptions resemble those from Bayou Jasmine. Although a biologist researched the plant for three years, she could not determine precisely which plant people used.


     The Indians put a lot of effort into making these cords. Roots can be hard to work with because of their tough outer layer. Weavers soaked roots in water to remove the outer layer. This made the roots easier to braid. Some of the roots were whole, while others were split lengthwise into two or four strands. The strands were an average of only .02 inch wide. People began making the cord by tying two strands together, and sometimes by forming a loop. Then, they attached this loop to something stable, so they could use both hands to braid the strands together. Next, they added other strands to make the cords the desired width, strength and length. The final cord could be several feet long.


     People likely used cords in many ways at Bayou Jasmine. Their main purpose may have been fishing lines, but they also could have been used as twine to hang things, to make fishing nets and to impress designs on pottery.


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