Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Projectile Points of the South West

Bettinger, Robert L., O'Connell, James F., Thomas, David Hurst. Projectile Points as Time Markers in the Great Basin. American Anthropologist. Vol. 93. No. 1. pp. 166-172.
                This article discusses how Great Basin archaeologists use dart points specifically dart points from the atlatl. The authors go on to examine and disprove Philip Wilke and Jeffery Flenniken  theory on "The Rejuvenation Hypothesis", that Northern Side-notched and Elko Corner-notched "both of these types were resharpened if broken in use, a process that yielded a series of morphologically intergrading derivative forms" (Bettinger 167). But, Bettinger and the other authors believe what is at stake is "whether such resharpening actually accounts for enough of the latter forms to vitiate survey their use as time markers" (Bettinger 167). In the article it goes on to suggest that the Flenniken-Wilke hypothesis does not fare well against the data that Bettinger and the other author's have gathered. An example of this is "the so called rejuvenated forms are consistently as large or larger than the so-called  archetypal forms" (Bettinger 171).  It goes on to suggest that "If Flenniken and Wilke were correct , then the largest of the two alleged archetypes-- here, Elko Corner-notched points--should be the largest points found at the site; if they were progressively whittled down into Elko Eared, Little Lake/Gatecliff, and Humboldt series points, these types should be considerably smaller." (Bettinger 171). Another main point in the article is that it Bettinger argues that projectile points from the majority of the Great Basin sites behave oppositely than what was predicted by Flenniken and Wilke. Finally, Bettinger notes that "If empirical data pertaining pertaining to point weight are judged relevant to Flenniken-Wilke argument , it is quite clear that formal diversity in Great  Basin atlatl point types cannot be explained as resulting from the rejuvenation of Elko Corner-notched and Northern Side-notched points. Finally, Bettinger concludes that it is still okay to use atlatl dart points as time markers for Native American civilizations who lived in the Great Basin.
Cameron, Catherine M. Pink Chert, Projectile Points, and the Chacoan Regional System. American Antiquity. Vol. 66. No. 1, pp. 79-101.
                In the article Pink Chert Projectile Points and the Chacoan Regional System by Catherine Cameron she discusses that the majority of materials used to make projectile points were from materials outside of Chaco Canyon. Also it suggests that the materials that were used to form  came from far away. An example of this is from "Narbona Pass chert from the Chuska Mountains"(Cameron 80). Another important detail is that they have found evidence for projectile points being used as weapons, and were also used as ritual offerings. One site that is discussed in this article is the Morrison Formation, and an example of this is "The recovery of 20 projectile points and only 6 pieces of debitage of this material suggests the projectile points entered the canyon as finished objects" (Cameron 86). Cameron discusses different studies that were conducted such as "Shelley's study of chipped stone at Salmon Ruin suggests that Chacoan chipped-stone producers were "more specialized" than their post- Chacoan counterparts based on a comparison of technological skill" (Cameron 89). Also, Cameron goes on to say that there are varying theories on how the material got to Chaco Canyon. One theory proposed by Earle is "Chacoan chiefs may have required residents of the Chuska Mountains to bring the pink tool stone when they traveled to Chaco Canyon  with pots full of corn  and heavy roofing timbers to work on the great houses." (Cameron 94). Another  theory is by Renfrew and he suggests "pilgrims to Chaco Canyon may have brought Narbona Pass chert with them because they were aware of the lack of good tool stone in the area or because they planned to offer it to Chacoan priests or gods." (Cameron 94).

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