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Projectile Points
Image of 3 different types of Maryland projectile points.
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WHAT ARE PROJECTILE POINTS?

Projectile points are a class of pointed objects, most commonly made of bifacially flaked stone, that were attached to wood, bone, or cane and used as tools.  Native Americans used stone projectile points to make sharp tips for thrusting lances, throwing spears, darts propelled by a hand-held throwing stick called an ‘atlatl,’ and arrows shot with a bow.  Native Americans also made knives and drills using projectile points attached to wood or bone handles.  Projectile points used on knives, lances, and spears tended to be large, and on knives they were often broad as well.  Drills were typically very narrow points.  Dart points were generally smaller and lighter, and arrowheads were smaller still.  In general, lance, spear, and dart tips are the oldest projectile points, while arrowheads are the youngest.



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Maryland's Prehistory

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Maryland Archaeological Conservation Lab Updated: 12/30/12

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Links back to the introduction page of Maryland Projectile Points.