Spear Points (8000 – 6000 B.C.)
Spear points, also called projectile points and arrowheads, are pointed objects normally made from chipped stone that were attached to the end of a spear or an arrow. Over time the shapes of these points changed, changes that have been recorded by archaeologists and grouped into types. By finding projectile points in association with other artifacts that can be dated, archaeologists are able to attribute rough dates to the different projectile point types. Combining this information together, archaeologists have constructed a timeline, or chronology, for North Carolina projectile point styles. While the dates for any particular projectile point last a long time, the durability of stone means that for many older sites these may be the only dateable artifacts available. Refinement of the available chronologies and point typologies is therefore an important and ongoing job for many archaeologists.
Spear points used by ancient hunters during the Early Archaic period (8000 – 6000 B.C.) were attached to the spear shaft by deeply notching the basal corners of the point or by chipping away the basal corners to create a stem. Some of these points also have finely notched or serrated edges. Spear point types that date to the Early Archaic period include Palmer Corner-Notched, Kirk Corner-Notched, Kirk Serrated, and Kirk Stemmed.