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Projectile Points
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BREWERTON EARED NOTCHED

Defining Attributes

The Brewerton Eared Notched is a small-to-medium, broad and thick point, with weak side notching and small ears on the base.

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Chronology

The Brewerton Eared Notched point is part of the Brewerton Complex, which began during the late Middle Archaic period and continued into the Late Archaic.  One of the oldest radiocarbon dates for the Brewerton Eared Notched is 5670 +/- 80 BP (approximately 4525 BC in calendar years) at the Sylvan Lake site in New York, although this example also exhibited Otter Creek traits (Funk 1991).  At the Faucett site in Pennsylvania, a Brewerton Eared Notched was radiocarbon dated to 5180 +/- 200 BP (approximately 3950 BC calendar) (Kinsey 1972).  One of the youngest radiocarbon dates for the type is 3770 +/- 125 BP (roughly 2175 BC calendar) at the Kuhr No. 2 site in New York (Funk 1993).

Most authorities feel the four point types of the Brewerton Complex were contemporary, although Ritchie (1971) suggests the Side Notched was the oldest.  Custer (1996b) places the start of the Brewerton Complex around 4300 BC (calendar) and continuing to perhaps 1600 BC.  Justice (1987) suggests a range of 4930 to 3673 BP (approximately 3700-2050 BC calendar), while Funk (1993) suggests 5150 to 4450 BP (approximately 3950-3100 BC calendar) for the Brewerton Complex in the Upper Susquehanna Valley.

Description

Blade: The blade is triangular or ovoid in shape, and biconvex in cross section.  Edges are generally slightly excurvate, but can be straight, and are occasionally serrated.

Haft Element: The broad stem has small, shallow, often v-shaped side notches.  The base is expanded, ending in small, well-made, rounded or sharp ears.  It is usually concave, but can be straight.  The ears and base can be ground.  

Size: Length ranges from 19 to 64 mm, with most between 25 and 38 mm.  Width ranges from 19 to 29 mm, with an average of 23 mm.  Thickness ranges from 5 to 9 mm, with most around 6 mm.

Technique of manufacture: Carefully made by pressure flaking.

Material: In a sample of 31 Brewerton Eared Notched points from the lower Patuxent drainage, Steponaitis (1980) reported that 29% were quartz and 29% quartzite, followed by rhyolite (26%) and chert (16%).  In the area surrounding Zekiah Swamp on the lower Potomac, Wanser (1982) found that 72% of 46 Brewerton Eared Notched points were quartz, with 26% quartzite, and 2% chert.  At the Higgins site in Anne Arundel County, all four Brewerton Eared Notched points were quartz (Ebright 1992).  In the Monocacy River drainage, 93% of 54 Brewerton Eared Notched points were rhyolite and 7% jasper (Kavanagh 1982).  An argillite Brewerton Ear Notched point was reported from the Pine Valley Park site in Carroll County, Maryland (Israel 2008).

Discussion

Brewerton Eared Notched points are found throughout the Northeast, from southern New England to northern Virginia, and west along the entire Ohio Valley (Justice 1987). 
They are a minority type in the Brewerton Complex (Ritchie 1971). 

Ritchie (1971) suggests the Eared Notched point developed from the Brewerton Side Notched in the late Middle Archaic period.  Justice (1987) considers the Brewerton Eared Notched to be a variant of the Brewerton Eared Triangle point, with the Eared Triangle generally wider and thinner than Eared Notched points of the same length, which may be a reflection of the amount of re-sharpening on examples of the two types. 

Defined in Literature

Ritchie first described this type in 1940, and published a formal definition in 1961 (revised 1971).

References
Custer 1996b; Ebright 1992; Funk 1991; 1993; Israel 2008; Justice 1987; Kavanagh 1982; Kinsey 1972; Ritchie 1971; Steponaitis 1980; Wanser 1982

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Maryland's Prehistory

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Maryland Archaeological Conservation Lab Updated: 12/30/12

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