Central States Archaeological Societies
Central States Archaeological Societies
Connect with CSASI on facebook

A Cumberland That Shows Unusual Flaking

by Howard King,

Central States Archaeological Societies 2007 January Journal

Cullman, Alabama

King Cumberland side A King Cumberland side B

At first glance this Cumberland looks like any other Cumberland point. It was found in Limestone County, Alabama, on a large paleolithic site where many fluted projectile points have been discovered over the past fifty years. It is made of Ft. Payne chert which was the material of choice. It is unusual in that the flutes on both faces are very short, more like those found on a Clovis. That is not what makes it different.

The edges are unifacially resharpened. They are retouched similar to a Dalton (transitional paleolithic); or a Lost Lake (early archaic) type. Lost Lakes are thousands of years younger in age, yet they share similar retouching methods to resharpen the edges.

Of hundreds of paleolithic points I have examined, all exhibit bifacial reshrpening. So is this particular fluted point one of the last of the fluted points being used as a projectile and existing around the same time as the transitional points such as Dalton?

Or could the Cumbrland have been utilized as a tool; a knife or side scraper?. The Paleoindians used all sorts of uniface objects in their tool kit. If the point was still attached to its foreshaft, then that could be readily used as a handle providing leverage in the task for which it was to be used.

Why this unusual artifact ended up with a unifacially retouched edge will probably remain a mystery.


Copyright © C.S.A.S.I.