Functional and stylistic variability in paleoindian and early archaic projectile points from midcontinental North America

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Abstract

Early projectile points from Midcontinental North America vary significantly in size and shape. Understanding the functional and stylistic aspects of this variability on a large spatial scale is a precursor to using this class of artifacts to evaluate and refine models of the social interaction of early hunter-gatherers in this region. Metric data from a sample (n = 1771) of Early Paleoindian (ca. 11,050-10,800 RCYBP), Late Paleoindian (ca. 10,300-10,000 RCYBP), and Early Archaic (ca. 10,000-8000 RCYBP) projectile points are analyzed to partition elements of functional and stylistic variability. Changes in the coefficient of variation of specific attributes are compared to expectations about how functional and stylistic variability should be manifest in these tools. Variability in hafting width and thickness appear to be constrained by functional considerations. The mixture of variables most closely related to hafting width shifts during the transition from lanceolate to notched points.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)71-108
Number of pages38
JournalNorth American Archaeologist
Volume34
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2013
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Archaeology
  • Archaeology

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