Central States Archaeological Societies
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The St. Charles Point

by Doug Goodrum

Central States Archaeological Societies 2009 July Journal

Bowling Green, Kentucky

Above are two St. Charles type IX points. This style is rarely encountered and is distinguished by it’s broad blade and equally broad stem. In this variation the blade width always exceeds the width of the stem. These show exceptional workmanship. The point on the left is made from a banded glossy chert and measures nearly 4 inches in length. It was found in Sumner County, Tennessee, and formerly collected by John Mark Clark and Malcolm Parker. The point on the right is made from a high quality Sonora flint and measures 3 5/8 inches in length. It was found in Taylor County, Kentucky by Harland Williams and formerly collected by Donnie Hammonds. It is highly serrated and still retains it’s needle tip. Collection of Doug Goodrum, Bowling Green,

The St. Charles point is an Early Archaic style, which is commonly known as a dovetail.They are found throughout the Midwest, and were named by Edward G. Scully in 1951 for points that he found in St. Charles County, Missouri. Several were discovered in Graham Cave and accurately dated to around 7500 BC. These corned notched points exhibit exceptional flaking and there are many variations of the convex base. These vary from rounded to squared, bifurcated, eared and even a rare clipped wing form that resembles some contemporaneous Decatur point bases. Robert Elder in his classic work,, Early Archaic Indian Points and Knives illustrates nine types and mentions that there are many subtypes. Most are in the 1 to 4 inch range. Larger examples do exist, butare quite rare. These points exhibit bevelingon the opposite sides of each face upon beingre-sharpened, but the first stage forms are notbeveled. These points show wide variations inusage, from spearpoints to knives. Many werefashioned into drills upon re-sharpening. Obviouslythese were a multipurpose tool whoseuse was widespread and common. It is interesting that the ancient makers usually choose high quality flints and cherts for these points.The examples illustrated are all first stage withno reshapening.

Elder, Robert
1990 Early Archaic Indian Points and Knives, Collector Books
Paducah Kentucky

Both of the above St. Charles points are unusual. The point on the left is of the fractured base variety, known as Type VII. These are rarely encountered, and this point is usually large and fine, measuring 5 inches in length. It is made from a high quality dover chert and was found by John Richardson in Stewart County, Tennessee. It has excellent serrations and a fine needle tip. The point on the
right is very large, measuring 6 3/8 inches in length. It is made from a gray and tan nodular chert. It is a Type II style point, in which is very little variation in the width of the neck regardless of length. The base is truncated and somewhat fan shaped. There is minor restoration to one ear on the base. Collection of Doug Goodrum, Bowling Green,


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