SPURRED TANG ARROW POINTS
AND STONE POINTS
These arrow points have the well-defined
shoulder and tapering tang with tiny spurs on
opposite sides that characterize most of those of
the Utkiavik Phase. They are made of deer antler
and average 10 cm. in length (range, 9 to
14 cm.). Above the tang the stems are round or
oval in cross-section. Towards the tip they have
one, or sometimes two, pronounced barbs
placed only on one side. At the tip is a socket,
lens-shaped in section, which is slit so that its
two sides may be pulled together with binding
to clamp the butt of a stone point. The broad
groove to hold the binding is usually well made. Chipped flint points (described below) were
used in this variety of antler arrowhead. Several
examples collected from the Point Barrow
vicinity are described by Murdoch. They were
used for hunting large game such as polar bear.
CHIPPED FLINT POINTS
According to Murdoch,1 as quoted in the foregoing
pages, chipped flint arrow points were intended
for use against bears. Either the points
were mounted directly on the wooden shaft or
they were affixed to the bone head with a
socket, described above as "spurred tang with
barbs and stone points." As noted by Murdoch,5
the points in the present collections are made
of a dark, almost black chert, a gray, somewhat
"waxy" chert, or, rarely, of jasper. The jasper
tends to be brown or reddish in color.
There can be no doubt that these are arrow points.
However, there can be no such certainty
about the chipped implements described below.
In general, the points in this group are very well
flaked on both faces and are quite thin in section,
in contrast to the rather thick diamond section arrow points listed above. The materials are a dark, almost black, chert, a
chert, and a translucent stone, possibly chalcedony.n
chert, and a translucent stone, possibly chalcedony.
Long narrow projectile points with
blades diamond-shaped in section, rather thick
in comparison to width (Fig. 64). The chipping
is nicely done; it could almost be termed
"ripple flaking." The shoulders are square and
unbarbed. The relatively short stems have
parallel sides with square bases. These points are identical with Murdoch's Fig. 183. Although
the proportions and other features are
the same, these points range from 9.5 cm. down
to a length of 3.5 cm. The shorter points formed
Murdoch's second group.
Chipped stemmed points with
rather sloping shoulders. These formed Murdoch's
third group. Points of this class in the
present collections are not so competently
chipped as those described above (Fig. 64).
Murdoch's last class, a straight-stemmed
point with a blade about as broad as long, was
represented in his collection by a single newly
made point. None appears in the collections described
A distinctive type of projectile point
not described by Murdoch is associated with
the forms listed above. This is a relatively long,
narrow, unstemmed point with a squared,
thinned base. In outline it resembles Larsen
and Rainey's Type 1, but differs in that it is
thicker in cross-section (Fig. 64).6
Murdoch has described the manufacture and
use of the preceding categories of flint points.
with slight shoulders, curving blade edges.
stems, which form almost one-half of the
of the points, have either straight or
These average about 6 cm. in length and
range from 4 to 9 cm. (Fig. 64).
Willow-leaf shaped points without
separate stems. These are also quite thin and
are well chipped. The edges of the blades curve
to the tip, but the bases are either rounded or
almost straight, approaching a triangular form.
In length these blades range from 2.7 to 8 cm.
(Figs. 64, 9g-j).
The provenience of the various forms of
chipped projectile points is given Classes 1 to 3, were
all found in the late sites, Nuwuk and Utkiavik,
and the recent deposits at Nunagiak, particularly
Cut 2. The broad, thin, nicely chipped
points, both with the characteristic U-shaped
stem (Class 4) and the unstemmed (Class 5),
came from the older deposits at Nunagiak and
were the only types found in the Birnirk deposits.
The Kugok burials yielded only the leaf shaped
Chipped implements of chert
and similar materials are not abundant on St.
Lawrence Island and are more characteristic of
the Old Bering Sea Period than of later cultural
stages. From the Hillside Site, Collins describes
thin, well-flaked, leaf-shaped points that are
similar to Class 5 points. Slightly larger
stemmed forms were possibly knife blades. These
have wide stems and slight shoulders, as do the
points of Class 4, but the bases of the stems
tend to be somewhat straighter than is usual in
the Point Barrow Area.'
Giddings' dated sequence from the Kobuk
River parallels the Point Barrow sequence and
suggests dates in the latter region as follows:
GIDDINGS' SEQUENCE' ~~~~~POINT BARROW CLASS
1250 A.D. Thin, stemless, wedge shaped
points Class 5
1400 A.D. Thin, wide-stemmed, Ekseavik,
Type A points Class 4
1550 A.D. Transitional to following
1750 A.D. Long, parallel-sided points
with rhomboid cross-section and
small rectangular stem Class 1
The Ipiutak Culture finds at Point Hope include
only a few stemmed points that could have been used to tip arrows. Some of these rare
forms are similar to the wide-stemmed, weak shouldered,
Class 4 form found at Barrow.3 An
exact parallel to the more common, stemless,
Ipiutak arrow points does not occur in the collections
from the Point Barrow Area. From the
Thule Period and recent remains at Point Hope,
Larsen and Rainey illustrate points directly
comparable to the Point Barrow Class 1.4
Mathiassen identifies flaked points with
stems as harpoon blades. This is probably correct.
In any event, these side-notched and
stemmed forms are not identical with any of
the points in the Point Barrow sequence."
The thick, parallel-sided arrowpoint with a
rectangular tang (Class 1) has been found as
far east as Barter Island., This particular late
form probably does not extend much farther
east and is essentially a northwestern Alaska
Collins, 1937, 324.
2 Mathiassen, 1927a, P1. 8, Figs. 2, 6.
' Collins, 1937, 323-324.
' Collins, 1937, P1. 34; Rainey, 1941, Fig. 14, Items 1-6.
6 Murdoch, 1892, 202-204
Larsen and Rainey, 1948, P1. 2, Figs. 1-6.
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