March 8, 2022 Speaker: George Colvin


Although rare, fossil shark teeth from outside of Ohio have been recovered from Ohio archaeological sites and as surface finds throughout much of the state. The source of these fossil shark teeth has been the subject of debate since first published by Squier and Davis in 1848. This debate has centered on the Hopewell culture and its acquisition of shark teeth as “exotic” mortuary items. Through a combination of age, species distribution, frequency of occurrence, and preservation characteristics, southwestern Florida is believed to be the source of most of the Ohio Hopewell teeth, including those from the well-known Scioto River valley Hopewell sites. Recent data indicate that fossil shark teeth were utilized in Ohio prior to and after the Hopewell time frame and from sites outside of the large Ohio Hopewell centers. For these sites, multiple sources of fossil shark teeth appear to have been utilized.

George H. Colvin is a geologist and co-founder of the consulting firm, Cox-Colvin & Associates, Inc. He received a Bachelor of Science in geology from Ohio University and a Masters of Science in geology from Vanderbilt University. George has served as Trustee, Executive Secretary, Vice President, President, and Past President of the Archaeological Society of Ohio. He has researched shark teeth from Ohio archaeological sites for nearly 15 years. He is now an empty nester residing in Plain City, Ohio with his wife, Tsui-Ling, and dog, Boone. He is an active scuba diver and enjoys swimming, biking and running.