Projectile Point Typologies (Summary)

Hugh Jarvis (C129QP43@UBVM.BITNET)
Wed, 11 May 1994 00:44:14 EDT

Sorry, I didn't have time to clean it up more, but here is the summary
of list knowledge of published sources on projectile point typology
for parts of North America, especially the Great Basin, West Coast,
Plains, and Midwest. Thank you all.

Date: Mon, 14 Feb 1994 13:57:04 -0700 (MST)
From: Anita Cohen-Williams <IACAGC@ASUACAD.BITNET>
Two books you are probably aware of are:
Heizer, Robert F. and Thomas R. Hester. GREAT BASIN PROJECTILE POINTS:
FORMS AND CHRONOLOGY (Socorro, NM: Ballena Press, 1978).
STUDIES (Berkeley: Department of Anthropology, University of California,
1989). Contributions of the University of California Archaeological Research
Facility, no.48.
Wilke, Philip J., and J. Jeffrey Flenniken. "Typology, Technology, and
Chronology of Great Basin Dart Points," AMERICAN ANTHROPOLOGIST, 91(1), March
1989: 149.
Bettinger, Robert L., O'Connell, James F., and David Hurst Thomas.
"Projectile Points as Time Markers in the Great Basin," AMERICAN
ANTHROPOLOGIST 93(1), March 1991:166. [In the same issue, Wilke and Flenniken
rebut this article.]
Flenniken, J. Jeffrey. "The Diamond Lil Site: Projectile point Fragments as
ANTHROPOLOGY 13(2), 1991:180.
Date: Sun, 13 Feb 1994 22:28:19 -0700 (MST)
From: "J. W. Forstadt" <AZJWF@ASUACAD.BITNET>

THOMAS, D. H. 1981, How to classify the projectile points from Monitor Valley,
Nevada. Journal of California and Great Basin Anthropology 3:7-43.

LANNING, Edward P. 1963. Archaeology of the Rose Spring Site, INY-372. Berkeley
University of California Press. (the classic Great Basin typology of

Also some various other articles by David Hurst Thomas and by Jeffrey
Flenniken may be worth searching out.
Date: Mon, 14 Feb 1994 15:14 PST
From: "BRIAN K. GILL" <>
I can think of places to contact only; try:
Humboldt Redwoods State Park (707)946-2311/Eel River District
Six Rivers National Forest (707)442-1721
BLM (707)822-7648--talk to Dan Avral
Redwood National Park (707)822-7611

I can't remember names of the archaeologists but just ask for head arch.
I know that reports have been written up and many field surveys have been
conducted over the past few years; they can also give you references.
======================================================================= 38
Date: Mon, 14 Feb 1994 19:47 PST
Subject: RE: Query: Proj Point Type References for NW, Calif,
Great Basin, Plains?
To: C129QP43@UBVM
Original_To: BITNET%"C129QP43@UBVM.BITNET"

For Hugh Jarvis:

Here's a few references to get started:
Flenniken, J.J. and Wilke, P.J.
"Typology,Technology, and Chronology of Great
Basin Dart Points."
1989 American Anthropologist 91:149-158
Be sure to read the reply by Bettinger in 1991
and the counterargument by Wilke and Flenniken
also in 1991.

Frison, G.C. and Bradley, B.A.
1982 "Fluting of Folsom Projectile Points in
Agate Basin."
Report on the Agate Basin Site, pp. 209-212

Titmus,G.L. and Woods, J.C.
1986 An Experimental Study of Projectile Point
Fracture Patterns. Journal of California and
Great Basin Anthropology 8:37-49

I'd recommend researching Phil Wilke's work. He is an outstanding
archaeologist here at the University of California Riverside, who
specializes in lithic technology and Great Basin/Mojave Desert
Archaeology (at least he used to!) He is quite informative and
may be able to give you further guidance. Good Luck on your research!

---Kyle Moffitt
Department of Anthropology
University of California Riverside
======================================================================= 64
Date: Mon, 14 Feb 1994 17:34:38 -0700 (PDT)
From: "Sean C. Hess" <>
Subject: Projectile point typology
To: Hugh Jarvis <C129QP43@UBVM.BITNET>
Message-Id: <>
Mime-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: TEXT/PLAIN; charset=US-ASCII

Dear Hugh,
The situation regarding projectile point typologies in the PacNW is
pretty sad. One projectile point that I have been tracking because of
its unique form and distribution has no less than 6 different names, all
of which were created by professtional archaeologists.
At present, everyone seems to have been struck dumb by the
Flenniken-Thomas debate. Flenniken is well respected in this region, and
many archaeologists are cautious with temporally diagnostic projectile
points. Two recent systems of classification are most popular. If you
are from Oregon, you probably use the classification found in Dumond and
Minor (1983). If you're from Washington, you might look at Lohse
(1984). On the other hand, you might do like Flenniken and refuse to
assign type names to points that you describe. Lohse (1984) and others
have noticed the similarity between Columbia Plateau proj. points and
those from the Great Basin, and many researchers have appropriated the
Great Basin typologies which are much more developed than those on the
Plateau. From what I've been able to find out about the Interior of
British Columbia, they tend to look to the well-developed Plains
typologies for guidance.
The situation on the Coast only becomes worse. Coastal researchers
tend to describe point types anew with each report, or they rely on the
weakly defined Interior point styles. The Willamette Valley and the
Portland Basin have their own distinctive styles that don't match the
Coast or the Interior.
I'll be presenting a paper on a particular projectile point type at the
next Northwest Anthropological Conference outlining the development of
this Tower of Babel. We have a hard time even talking to each other
about what point is what, and so on. I hope the following references are
available to you somewhere. Gray literature is yet another major problem
in this region, but I digress...

Caldwell, W.W.
1956 The Archaeology of Wakemap, a Stratified Site Near The Dalles of
the Columbia. Unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, Dept. of Anthropology.
University of Washington, Seattle.

Dumond, D.E. and R. Minor
1983 Archaeology in the John Day Reservoir: The Wildcat Canyon Site
35-GM-9. University of Oregon Anthropological Papers, 30. University of
Oregon, Eugene, Oregon.

Lohse, E.S.
1984 Rufus Woods Lake Projectile Point Chronology. In Summary of
Results, Chief Joseph Dam Cultural Resources Project, edited by M. E. W.
Jaehnig and S. K. Campbell. Office of Public Archaeology, University of
Washington, Seattle.

Nelson, C.M.
1969 The Sunset Creek Site and its Place in Plateau Prehistory.
Washington State University Laboratory of Anthropology, Report of
Investigations, 47. Washington State University, Pullman, Washington.

Good luck in your quest.

Sean < or>
======================================================================= 22
Date: Fri, 18 Feb 94 12:23:20 PST
From: Robert Ackerman <ACKERMAN@WSUVM1>
Subject: Re: Query: Proj Point Type References for NW, Calif, Great Basin,
To: Hugh Jarvis <C129QP43@UBVM>
In-Reply-To: Your message of Sun, 13 Feb 1994 18:42:44 EST

One good source is "The Windust Phase in Lower Snake River Region Prehistory"
by David G. Rice. Report of Investigations No. 50, Laboratory of Anthropology,
Washington State University. 1972. If you can't find it you can order it from
Tim Kohler, ed. Reports of Investigations, Dept. Anthropology, WSU, Pullman,
WA 99164-4910. This report has lots of line drawings of points. In 1970
Rank Leonhardy and Dave Rice published, "A Porposed Culture Typology for the
Lower Snake River Region, Southeastern Washington. Northwest Anthropological
Research Notes 4(1):1-29. This will provide the cultural chronology for the
area. There are lots of reports such as the early work of Early Swanson,
Robert Butler, Dick Daugherty for the Plateau region. If you need real
specifics contact Bill Andrefsky of this department who is our lithics
specialists and is working in the Plateau region. Mel Aikens of the Univ. of
Oregon can provide you with data on the basin. Our basin specialists, Pete
Mehringer is in China. Best Regards, Bob.