from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun A genus of bivalves, representing the family Spondylidæ, formerly referred to the Ostræidæ or Pectinidæ.
  • noun An oyster of this genus.
  • noun A vertebra.


Sorry, no etymologies found.


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  • Tiny figures in copper and gold, llamas shaped from spondylus shell and delicately woven sandals — all wrapped in offering bundles and surrounded by clay bowls and wooden tools.

    Juanita 2010

  • When the Incas ruled the Ecuadorian highlands, this area was occupied by the Mantena tribe, and was the centre of a trading network that stretched north to Mexico, using spondylus shells, which were worth more than gold, as currency.

    Isla de la Plata - Ecuador's other Galapagos Sarah Gilbert 2010

  • Nearby were 35 little statues, made of gold, silver and spondylus (sea) shells; bundles of ornate alpaca textiles, and even sandals.

    The Children Of The Ice 2008

  • Included in the caches were ceramic vessels, spondylus shells, and jade figurines.

    Royal Maya Tomb Found 2000

  • Their principal markets for spondylus were the Andean high cultures, where the shell was a profoundly sacred and necessary religious commodity.

    Traders of the Ecuadorian Littoral 1997

  • The traders may have needed to augment their most lucrative stock, spondylus shells.

    Traders of the Ecuadorian Littoral 1997

  • Several small female figurines in gold, silver, tumbaga (a gold and copper alloy), and spondylus shell were found near the mummy.

    Andean Icewoman 1996

  • The 2. 5-inch spondylus shell and 6. 25-inch gold figurines were clad in miniature multicolored garments and headdresses, while a 3. 5-inch silver figurine wore all white.

    Andean Icewoman 1996

  • Seven more artifacts -- a six-inch-tall silver female statuette wrapped in textiles; one silver and one gold male statuette; a female figurine and a llama carved out of spondylus shell; and one gold and one silver llama -- were discovered in a cache on a nearby platform.

    Inka Child Sacrifice 1996

  • All 3-dimensional artists are invited to sell and showcase their art of spondylus jewelry, or spondylus shell. - Local News 2008


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