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Christopher BenfeyThe streamlined ''birdstones'' and ''boatstones'' (weights for spear throwers) from the Archaic period (circa 6000-500 B.C.) would have delighted Brancusi. Among the Hopewell artifacts cut from sheets of mica during the ''Woodland'' period (1000 B.C. to A.D. 1000) are a heartstopping talon of a bird of prey and an outstretched hand with bent thumb and elongated fingers. In such luminous objects there is, as the book notes, ''a suggestion of communication between the human community and the world of spirits beyond.''
— The New York Times