Some western NC points

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Some western NC points

Hillbilly NC
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Hillbilly NC
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July 6th, 2007, 5:00 pm #1

Here are a few of the points I've found around here over the years, all surface collected mostly from agricultural fields and a couple construction sites.

These are representative of most periods of the last 10,000 years or so here-late/transitional Paleo, early, middle, and late Archaic, early and middle Woodlands, and South Appalachian Mississippian periods. I don't have anything that I can definitely say is from the early and middle Paleo periods. The majority of these are made from local quartzite and quartz with some of the early Archaic and late Woodland/Mississipian ones made from black and gray chert from eastern Tennessee. There are also a few made from central NC rhyolite, jasper, and chalcedony.

Hardaway and Hardaway/Dalton variants, Palmer corner-notched, Kirk corner-notched, Lecroy, St. Albans and Kanawha Stemmed, Stanley Stemmed, Guilford Lanceolate, Yadkin/Connestee Triangular, and small Mississippian Triangular points. Forgot to put anything in for scale, but the biggest Guilfords are a bit over 3":


Morrow Mountain types 1 & 2, Swannanoa/Plott Stemmed, Pigeon/Woodland Side-notched, Bradley Spike, and a couple of unidentifieds. These range from about 1" to 2" long:


Savannah River and Otarre Stemmed:


Same frame with a Zippo for scale:

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rebsr52339
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July 6th, 2007, 11:03 pm #2

That is a great bunch of points Steve. My mind kinda wanders when I look at treasures like these and I try and picture the people making them and using them. What did he say when he finished one, "OK one down, 50 to go". I always believed that there was at least one if not more in the clan who were dedicated to making points as well as doing some of the hunting. Oh to be able to talk to Otzi.

Dick
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eskimoboy
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July 7th, 2007, 1:41 am #3

That is a really nice collection! You must of been looking for quite a few years. Most of my points I have found are little triangles...
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Hillbilly NC
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July 7th, 2007, 3:18 am #4

I go through a lot of the same thoughts, Dick. Also on the snapped off ones with impact fractures, you gotta wonder what it hit. There's probably several points in there that brought home meat or took down enemies.Save the Cro-Magnons
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scalp creek
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July 7th, 2007, 9:04 pm #5

Great points there HB. Looks like most of them are just "plain" side notched, nothing "fancy"...just sturdy, crude points that could be made with the tools they had, and the knowledge they had. When I look at frames of points like these, or similar ones from Texas, .......not only does my mind wander to who made them, if he was the sole point maker for the band, what they struck, how they were bound (I would guess with side notches they were tied on with gut, sinew or something, not just mastic)...........but I also am amazed at the apparent either lack of skill of the knappers (even with the tough material and lack or good tools)...or the loss of knapping knowledge at some point between Folsom time, and the time they were made. If you look at the Clovis and Folsom points, most all were made with high level of skill, and the best stone. I ponder the possilbilities. could the people who made the Folsoms and earlier points have been wiped out and the knowledge lost? Was there some kind of mindset by archaic times that "all the good stone is gone, the mammoth tusk knapping tools are gone, so just do the best you can" type attitude? You have to take into consideration the apparent increase in the population when you get into archaic time, over the thin pop in folsom/clovis time. Maybe the best stone was in another band's territory?
Any theories?
by the way, I like the triple notched ones, top photo, black stone, 2nd from bottom row, 2nd from left. interesting shape and notching.
scalp the ancient one
"Clone the Mammoth! We have plenty of sheep!"
I have never lost an obstinate sense of detachment, of the need for solitude---a feeling which increases with the years. ~~ Albert Einstein
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rebsr52339
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July 8th, 2007, 11:26 pm #6

Steve, I'm going to bring a few points with me to Pat's. See if you can tell me if they are impact etc. They are three of the first points I ever found. Broken but "my" treasures.

Dick
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Jay
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July 8th, 2007, 11:46 pm #7

scalp, my thought is that they just used what was most abundant, and in NC that's unpredictable, easily shattering quartz and rhyolite of varying grades, but mostly poor quality compared to the fine-grained lithic sources that were in many other parts of the country.

Geologically speaking, the Piedmont (and mountains) of the SE is (I believe) among the oldest and most weathered features in North America.

From what I've seen around Charlotte, NC, there must have been HUGE NA populations sustaining themselves in this region (nearly every flat hill I search on around here I can find evidence of pre-historic habitation) for generations upon generations. The easy to get high quality stone was exhausted pretty early on, and perhaps the cruder tools you see assembled in many SE collections are a reflection of the quality of the stone rather than the skill of the maker.

Being an NC guy though, I have a special love for rhyolite and quartz!

Thanks for sharing Hillbilly. Great assemblage!
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scalp creek
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July 8th, 2007, 11:54 pm #8

yeah, makes sense. I agree that the population increase by archaic times, and the best stone, that was easy to find was gone. I do wonder though, if there was a "disconnect" in knowledge between the oldest ones, and the later ones.
yOu know that is the FIRST archaic Zippo lighter i have seen too!
s.c.
"Before we let you leave, your commander must cross that field, present himself before this army, put his head between his legs, and kiss his own arse." - William Wallace (Braveheart)
I have never lost an obstinate sense of detachment, of the need for solitude---a feeling which increases with the years. ~~ Albert Einstein
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ncboman
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July 9th, 2007, 3:04 am #9

kinda looks like they made em 'good enough' and went on. I guess when misses often go into rock, time would be wasted knapping finer points.

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Woodland Roamer
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July 13th, 2007, 1:19 pm #10

Lots of good looking points there HB. Some of your quartzite Savannah Rivers and Guilfords look absolutley indentical to some I have found down here in the foothills, couldn't tell them apart if we got them mixed up! I don't find as much of the black and grey TN chert down here but I do find lots of rhyolite.

Alan
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Hillbilly NC
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July 13th, 2007, 4:26 pm #11

Alan, very few rhyolite points up here, I have two small Hardaway types and one Savannah river made into a rounded-tip hafted scraper that are rhyolite out of that whole bunch. Most of the chert points here are either real early stuff, like the Palmers, Kirks and Lecroys, or middle/late Woodland/ Mississipian points. The early Archaic ones probably represent wide-ranging nomadic bands of hunters summering in the mountains, and heading back down the rivers to the Tn./Ky lowlands to the west in winter. The chert doesn't show back up in the assemblage until the Woodland period of trade networks got going. How was the trip? BTW, we've got a small bowbuilding/knapping/eating/BSing gathering happening here in a couple weeks. If you might be able to come up, I'll PM you details.Save the Cro-Magnons
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Woodland Roamer
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July 13th, 2007, 4:57 pm #12

HB, same thing here on the TN chert, I've not found as much of it as you but the points I do have of it are almost all either Palmers or Late Woodland arrowheads. The trip was great, just got in yesterday. I'll post some pics over in general discussion forum first of the week. Let me know about the gathering, I should be able to make it.

Alan
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PeteDavis
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May 12th, 2016, 5:23 pm #13

Good stuff here.
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briarpatch10
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January 14th, 2018, 12:35 am #14

After looking at stone points for years and no, I am no expert just curious. 
I believe that every man in the village or Tribe knew how to make and did make arrow points as he saw a need or to practice and teach others like his sons. 
I believe when he was alone and perhaps sitting by a stream or on a hill he would make arrow points for practice or to test different stones he had found. 
A village with 50 men would make thousands of points every decade and they would be scattered near and far. 
I also think most would never ride on an arrow but serve only to make the next one better. 
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