Projectile Point Typology

[Tool Structure and Function] (Classifying Native American Traditions for Projectile Points)
  • Wm Jack Hranicky


Projectile point typology may be the weave that produces all archaeological interpretation in American prehistory. No single facet of the Indian’s culture has received more attention than the Indian’s frequently called arrowhead. Of course, the arrowhead was only one part of technology used by the Indians; others were the all important spearpoint, which makes up 80 percent of their lithic tool history. For this and other reasons, the arrowhead is called a projectile point, which is usually a pointed biface. The projectile point was a multifunctional tool that was used for knives, drills, scrapers, arrowheads, spearpoints, and other purposes. Other than flakes and not counting broken pottery sherds found by archaeologists, the projectile point is the most common artifact that is found in surface finds, private collections, and excavated site contents. It is the most diagnostic item among Native American tools because of special shapes that they employed in making them. The shapes or styles can be classified morphologically into archaeological types.


Tool Function Stone Tool Point Type Social Unit Tool Structure 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wm Jack Hranicky
    • 1
  1. 1.Virginia Rockart SurveyMcCary Fluted Point SurveyUSA

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