The Lamoka point is small, narrow, and thick. It has either weak-to-moderately pronounced side notches, or a straight stem with slight shoulders that usually slope. The base is unfinished, and commonly retains cortex.
The Lamoka point dates to the Late Archaic period. Ritchie (1971) states that the point is a defining artifact of the Lamoka complex in New York, for which radiocarbon dates ranging between 5500 and 4500 BP (approximately 4350-3250 BC in calendar years) have been obtained, but in the Upper Susquehanna River valley, Funk (1993) says Lamoka assemblages are well-dated between 4500 and 3900 BP (3250-2400 BC in calendar years). Wall et al. (1996) suggest a range of 4000 to 3600 BP (2550-1900 BC) in Pennsylvania. At the Slade site along the Nottoway River in Virginia, McAvoy and McAvoy (1997) recovered Lamoka points in a context stratigraphically dated to approximately 4500 BP (3250 BC). Ritchie (1971) suggests the point continued in small quantities into the Middle Woodland period.
Blade: The blade is elongated and triangular, and thick. In cross section it is biconvex or median ridged. The edges are straight or slightly excurvate.
Haft Element: The base may be straight, oblique, or slightly convex-to-bulbous. It is usually un-worked and as thick as the blade, often exhibiting a broad, slightly modified or unmodified surface of the original bulb of percussion. The “unfinished” condition of the base is a key diagnostic feature of the Lamoka point. Basal grinding occurs occasionally. The stem may be straight and of moderate length, or slightly side notched.
Size: Length ranges from 20 to 70 mm. Width ranges from 10 to 24 mm. Thickness measures 6 to 12 mm.
Technique of manufacture: Crudely made by soft percussion, with little or no pressure retouching.
Material: In the area surrounding Zekiah Swamp on the lower Potomac, Wanser (1982) found that 45% of 83 Lamoka points were quartz, with 35% rhyolite and 20% quartzite. Lamokas found in the middle Potomac River Valley are made of local materials such as rhyolite, quartzite, and quartz (Hranicky 2002).
This type is found throughout much of the Northeast, and the very similar Dustin and Durst Stemmed points extend the range into the Great Lakes region and Ohio Valley (Justice 1987). In the Northeast, the Lamoka is sometimes placed in the Sylvan Stemmed Group, along with the Bare Island and “Lamoka-like” types such as Wading River (Funk 1976). It is a common type along the middle Potomac Valley (Hranicky 2002). Lamoka points are not reported south of Virginia (Justice 1987).
Defined in Literature
This type was originally defined by Ritchie (1961, revised 1971) based on points recovered from the Lamoka Lake site in New York.
Other Names Used
Funk 1976; 1993;
McAvoy and McAvoy 1997;
Wall et al. 1996; Wanser 1982