A Brief Note on the Texas Early Triangle Type
by BMalcolm T. McLaughlin,
|Central States Archaeological Societies 2012
The Texas Early Triangle is an artifact type found
predominantly in Central Texas and also occasionally in
West Texas. These artifacts are dated to approximately
5700 years ago, placing them near the transition from
the Early Archaic period to the Middle Archaic period in
Central Texas. The Early Triangle type is described by
Ellen S. Turner and Thomas R. Hester in A Field Guide
to Stone Artifacts of Texas Indians. Early Triangles do
not have stems or notches for hafting to an atl-atl foreshaft,
suggesting they were probably used as knives or
Early Triangles are fascinating artifacts, because
they display traits that are considered highly desirable
by many collectors. Specifically, most Early Triangles
have a distinctive combination of basal fluting or thinning,
steep bevel blade resharpening, and prominent serrations
that appear along the blade edge throughout the
life of the artifact. These characteristics are considered
desirable by many collectors because they reflect techniques
applied in the construction of projectile points
from the Paleo and Early Archaic periods, and also because
they provide great visual appeal.
Twelve Early Triangles were reviewed for this Note,
eleven of the examples were found in Coryell, Hamilton
and Bell Counties in Central Texas, and one example was
found in West Texas. The studied examples vary in length
from 52mm to 100mm, but have remarkably consistent
basal widths between 33 and 38mm. This suggests that
Early Triangles are often constructed with initial lengthto-
width ratios of around 3:1. Over time, several of the
examples were resharpened until they reached lengthto-
width ratios of less than 2:1, creating steep bevels on
the blade edges.
Early Triangles display two curious traits related to
the resharpening process. First, the type can be separated
into sub-groups, one representing resharpened examples
with truly triangular blades (Figure 1) and the other
representing examples with recurved blades (Figure 2).
Most examples in both categories display basal fluting or
thinning and prominent serrations. Second, the process
of bevel resharpening is inconsistent across examples.
Some are beveled on the right side of the blade, while
others are beveled on the left side of the blade; some
are even beveled on both sides of the blade. These traits
highlight significant diversity within the point type.
Turner, Ellen S., and Hester, Thomas R.
1993. A Field Guide to Stone Artifacts of Texas Indians, Gulf Publishing
Perttula, Timothy K.
2004. The Pre-History of Texas, Texas A&M University Publishing
At top: Figure 1.Early triangles with triangular blades