and the Northumberland
Knife (NFK) Form
years ago Jack Hranicky and I named and described the NFK form (Hranicky, 1994) from specimens I had in Pennsylvania
and a couple specimens he had located in Virginia. T can see more of a likeness between these and the Cumberland
points. Perhaps there is a relationship, yet until recently the NFK form had not been noted in the Cumberland home
area of Tennessee/Kentucky or north into Michigan and Canada. Jack recently obtained what is probably an NFK from
the Nashville, Tennessee, area. Recently I obtained a much battered and abused specimen from central New York,
which extends the type into those areas. Previous to these two, specimens were known only from Virginia (2), New
Jersey (1) and Pennsylvania (approx. 15-20) (Photos 4 and 5).
NFK is quite distinctive because of the full length flute(s) on one face and fine parallel flaking on the other
face, which only occasionally has a minor flute. We believe them to be knives, as on several specimens the flute
ended in an overshot termination which removed the point, which then was not reworked. Edges are often much used.
The base is often angled as if to flute the second face and left that way. Basal or edge grinding is, however,
not usually done. The question I tried to answer is: are these NFK's simply unfinished Cumberlands? I feel not.
In the first place, Cumberlands, as noted, are on the scarce side among the fluted point types of the area. In
fact, the NFKs are as numerous as, if not more so, than good Cumberland examples. Secondly, the thick cross section
of the Cumberland is not present on NFKs, which are broader and flatter. It appears to me that attempting a flute
on the unfluted face was unnecessary or too risky. Third, either the form has gone unreported in other areas, or
the bulk of NFKs are indeed in Pennsylvania, eastern Pennsylvania to be precise, and are made from cherts local
to that area jaspers, black cherts). Only two of those shown are outside of that area. So far I have to think these
are an eastern Pennsylvania invention, but I'd like to hear from anyone who has an NFK and also from any one who
has opinions on the NFK and Cumberland and any possible relationship between them.
examination of the Barnes point wasn't intended to be so lengthy, but it seemed appropriate to examine as many
aspects as possible of the Cumberland 'Barnes situation. It also seems an appropriate time to introduce the NFK
into the mix to raise questions and seek more input on all of these issues. I can be contacted at 245 Fairview
Rd., Turbotville, Pennsylvania, 17772-9599E
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