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Mississippi Valley Archaeology Center

Projectile Points – Largest, Smallest

March 8, 2016

Projectile pointsProjectile points (includes arrow and spear tips) help us to date sites since both the sizes and shapes changed through time. Points come in a variety of sizes ­ and the two illustrated here are extremes! The larger point is 15 cm (6 inches) long, and the smaller one is only about 1 cm (just under 1/2 inch). The larger point is an Early Woodland Adena point from a site along the Mississippi River in Houston County, Minnesota. It’s made of a whitish chert that looks like Burlington but has too much patina (a weathered exterior surface) to be sure. The tiny corner-notched point came from an Archaic and Middle/Late Woodland site in the Perrot State Park area near Trempealeau. It’s made of grey chert similar to Grand Meadow chert from southeastern Minnesota.