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HomeConsumer EducationFor Our "Green" World - The Post-Consumer Dalton Point!

Starting in the late Paleo-Indian period and continuing on into the Early Archaic period, the stone projectile point known generally as the Dalton Point served as a hunting weapon longer than almost any other style.

This long-lived technology was used over a vast region, from the Southeast and Florida to the East Central of Kentucky and Tennessee and Ohio, across the South and into much of Texas, and northward throughout the Great Plains.

A similar, possibly related style, was used during the same time frame in the Great Basin, west of the Rocky Mountains, in the Desert Southwest, California and the Pacific Northwest. It is called the Humboldt Point.

Dalton points are common throughout Missouri, Arkansas, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, etc. The distinctive divided base design of the spear points, lance heads and dart points is widely and immediately recognizable.

This design, probably more than any other, replaced the fluted points of earlier technologies, because it worked! And because ancient craftsmen did not have to contend with as many fractures as regularly occurred during the fluted point manufacturing process. This change saved a lot of effort, time and material, all of which could be put to better use than being discarded as Clovis, Cumberland or Folsom points “broken during manufacture.”

One unique phase of the Dalton point system has emerged. As the points were used and became dull, either from hunting impacts or from edge wear in service as knife blades, the owner would resharpen them.

This refurbishing effort usually would take place while the point was still bound in the handle or shaft. As a result, the base of the point did not exhibit much of the reshaping effort. But the blade certainly did show the effect of being sharpened again and again.

I have a display which shows 8 different ancient Dalton Points. They are arranged around one white chert Dalton blade which measures 3-1/2″ long by 1-1/8″ wide. It has been re-sharpened a few times, and shows the typical one sided resharpening flake removals along each edge of the blade, giving it a beveled edge visible along the left side of the blade. The other 7 points are similar or slightly smaller in width at the base, but they are all significantly shorter, mostly under 2″ long.

They have all been resharpened many times. In fact they have been “recycled” so many times that there is almost nothing left of them except the base, with only a short triangular bit of blade remaining. They have all reached the end of their usefulness, so much so that further resharpening would take more effort than it was worth. Subsequently, the Dalton era user of these tools, blades and projectile points discarded them without a further thought.

They are therefore “Post-Consumer Daltons.”

Source by F Scott Crawford


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