A Cumberland That Shows Unusual Flaking
by Howard King,
|Central States Archaeological Societies 2007
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
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.
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