Elem Points

Non-diagnostic Fragments

Broken tips (3), mid-sections (2), and other pieces (8) were recovered from LAK-76. Both of the Konocti obsidian pieces were in this category.
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Rattlesnake Corner-notched (2) [300 B.P.]

These are small points,
most likely for arrows, and the most recent of the styles of points recovered
(0-158, 266).  They had
mean hydration readings of 1.9 and 2 microns respectively indicating
manufacture around 300
years B.P.
Excelsior Serrated (2)
[900-1,300 B.P.]

These points had rounded
contracting stems and often serrated edges.  Points 0-22 and 0-129 had mean hydration readings of 3.2 and 3.7, indicating
manufacture ~900 and
1,300 B.P.
Mendocino Contracting
Stem (1) [1,800 B.P.]

These contracting stem and sometimes flat-based points have a slight shoulder just below the cutting edge.  Point H6-50 had a mean hydration reading of 4.4 microns indicating manufacture ~1,800 B.P.
Willow Leaf (2)
[2,000-2,300 B.P.]

These are often thick knife-like points (0-26, 227).  Point 0-26 had a hydration mean of 4.9 and 0-227 had a hydration mean of 4.6 indicating manufacture ~2,300 and 2,000 years B.P.
Houx Serrated (5) [2,500/
2,800/2,900 B.P.]

These long contracting-stem points are often serrated and sometimes have ears or tangs at the shoulder.  Point 0-151 had a mean hydration reading of 5.2 microns indicating
manufacture ~2,500 B.P.  
Item 0-112 had two bands
suggesting the reuse of an
older tool.  One band was
8.7 microns indicating
manufacture ~7,200 B.P.
and one was 5.5 microns
indicating secondary use
~2,900 B.P.  Item 0-237 had a reading of 5.4
indicating manufacture
~2,800 B.P
Flat Base (1) [2,700 B.P.]

The base of this point was
squared off by pressure
flaking to create a thin, flat base.  Its hydration reading was 5.4 microns indicating manufacture ~2,700 B.P.
Unidentifiable Style (1)
[3,900 B.P.]

Point 0-175 resembled a
Mendocino side-notched
point and had a single
hydration rim of 6.4 microns indicating
manufacture ~3,900 B.P.
Concave Base (1) [4,600

This long point (0-392)
had a shallow concave base and a mean hydration reading of 7 microns
indicating manufacture
~4,600 B.P.
Borax Lake Notched
Widestem (1) [4,700 B.P.]

When discovered, it was
thought that this would be
the oldest point recovered
during the project.  The 7
micron reading from this
point suggests manufacture ~4,700 B.P.
Flat-Base Dart (1) [5,100

This point resembled the
small excelsior style dart
point described by many
base is flattened and thinned.  The thin base
profile more closely
resembles a Mostin point.  
The hydration reading also
resembles a Mostin point
with a mean micron reading of 7.3 indicating manufacture ~5,100 B.P.
Mendocino Corner- notched (1) [7,000 B.P.]

These flat-based square and expending-stemmed points (0-309) sometimes have pronounced corner notches but often don’t.  This one had a hydration mean of 8.6 microns indicating manufacture around 7,000 B.P.
Mendocino Side-notched
[14,200 B.P.]

Point 0-107 appears to have been serrated, side
notched, and may be the
result of several periods of use and reuse.  Three
hydration bands were
observed on this specimen.  The widest rim had a mean of 12.2 microns indicating
original manufacture around 14,200 B.P.  The
next rim had a mean of 8.2
microns indicating
additional work around
6,400 B.P.  The smallest
rim had a reading of 4.6
microns indicating further work around 2,000 B.P.  Other serrated point
forms (see Houx Serrated
listed above) are in the
2,000-year range.
Flat-base Widestem (1)
[14,200 B.P.]

This point (0-108) was a
barely-worked flake that
resembled a Borax Lake
widestem.  It had a single
hydration band with a mean of 12.2 microns indicating manufacture around 14,200 B.P.


Points were chipped on both sides with a very sharp (unused) cutting edge.  Points were sorted based on the key proposed by Greg White (White 1984:125) during his work at LAK-510 in the Anderson Marsh State Historic Park.  Samples of each recognized style were submitted for hydration analysis.  All but three of the points were of Borax Lake obsidian, 2 were Konocti obsidian and one was Napa obsidian. The points are listed here in order of their hydration readings (most recent to oldest). There were 32 points recovered during project monitoring.  

All obsidian chipped stone tools that appeared to have diagnostic shapes were submitted for hydration analysis.  Hydration readings were converted to approximate years B.P. (Before Present) using Thomas Origer’s (1993) rate for Napa obsidian and the Borax Lake/Napa obsidian conversion factor developed by Kim Tremaine and Dave Fredrickson (1988).

Bow and Arrow (300 B.P. and later)

The small points used to tip arrows are evidence of the most recent hunting technology.  The arrow points recovered had hydration dates of 300 B.P.

Many people assume that the development and use of new technologies provide a population with additional food resources or make resource procurement easier.   Mark Cohen and others are more inclined to view the introduction of new technologies as a “means of approximating as closely as possible the old status quo in the face of our ever-increasing (population) numbers.” (Cohen 1977:285)

Dart and Atlatl (5,000 B.P. and later)

As with most changes in technology, the addition of a new technology adds to, rather than replaces, a previous technology.  The small thin-based dart point with a hydration date of 5,100 B.P. most likely tipped a short spear or dart.  This short spear or dart would have been launched at prey with the help of a throwing stick (atlatl).  This new hunting technology did not replace the thrusting spear, but was used alongside it.  Point sizes indicate that both technologies were likely in use from 5,000 B.P. till the time of European arrival.

Thrusting Spears (14,000 to 900 B.P.)

The largest points were most likely the tips of long thrusting spears.  Hydration data suggest that these types of spears were in use from 14,000 B.P. through 900 B.P.

Throughout this extensive period of time, changes in form and style are evident.  A range of different base and notch styles can be found until about 4,000 B.P. These included square bases, concave bases, notched bases, and side notching.  None of these styles included serrated edges.

Beginning about 4,000 B.P. serrated edges are found among many point styles and most point bases are rounded or contracting in shape.

hydration means suggests a major increase in the number of points in the 2,000 to 4,000 B.P. time period (5 and 6 micron range) as well as a possible increase in the 6,400 to 7,000 B.P. period (9 micron range).  It is known that the most recent volcanic eruption in the Lake Basin occurred ~3,200 B.P.  The stresses this event had on food resources may have required an intensification of hunting, which would explain the increase in points during this period.