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A Projectile Point Guide for the Upper Mississippi River Valley

Robert F. Boszhardt

Publication Year: 2003

The most common relics of the 12,000-year occupancy of the Upper Mississippi River Valley may be the chipped stone projectile points that Native Americans fastened to the ends of their spears, darts, and arrow shafts. This useful guide provides a key to identifying the various styles of points found along the Upper Mississippi River in the Driftless region stretching roughly from Dubuque, Iowa, to Red Wing, Minnesota, but framed within a somewhat larger area extending from the Rock Island Rapids at the modern Moline-Rock Island area to the Falls of St. Anthony at Minneapolis-St. Paul.

Logging tens of thousands of miles and visiting private collectors from all walks of life since 1982, Robert Boszhardt has documented thousands of projectile points found in this region. In addition to drawings of each style, he provides other accepted names as well as names of related points, age, distribution, a description (including length and width), material, and references for each type. The guide is meant for the many avocational archaeologists who collect projectile points in the Upper Midwest and will be a useful reference tool for professional field archaeologists as well.

Emphasizing the preservation of sites as well as a mutual exchange of information between professional and avocational archaeologists, this guide will reveal projectile points as clues to the past, time markers which embody crucial information about the cultures of the Mississippi River Valley's early inhabitants.

Published by: University of Iowa Press


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pp. vii-viii

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p. ix

This guide would not have been possible without the cooperation of hundreds of individual artifact collectors who have shared their artifacts and information with me and my colleagues at the Mississippi Valley Archaeology Center over the past twenty years. No collection is too large or small to be of interest and to make a contribution to understanding our collective heritage. These collections and those recovered by professionals in the region have spawned innumerable discussions with my associates at MVAC and at...

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pp. 1-5

Projectile points are tips fastened to the ends of spears, darts, and arrow shafts. In prehistoric North America, they were made from a variety of materials, including antler, bone, and copper but most, at least most that have been preserved, were made from stone. The vast majority of these were made by chipping various types of “flint” to shape the projectile point for penetration, cutting, and hafting. Projectile point styles changed through time, much like automobiles from the 1920s look different than those...

Site Recording Form

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p. 7

Point Features and Terminology

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p. 9

Early Paleo Fluted Spear Points


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pp. 13-14


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pp. 15-16

Eastern Fluted (Gainey)

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pp. 17-18

Late Paleo Lanceolate Points


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pp. 21-22

Agate Basin

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pp. 23-24

Hell Gap

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pp. 25-26

Frederick/Allen/Browns Valley

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pp. 27-28


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pp. 29-30


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pp. 31-32

Hi-Lo/Price Stemmed/Chesro

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pp. 33-34

Early Archaic Stemmed and Corner-Notched Points

Hardin Barbed

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pp. 37-38


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pp. 39-40

St. Charles

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pp. 41-42

Kessell Side-Notched

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pp. 43-44

Kirk Corner-Notched

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p. 45

Middle Archaic Stemmed and Side-Notched Points


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pp. 49-50

Raddatz Side-Notched/Osceola

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pp. 51-52

Late Archaic Stemmed and Corner-Notched Points

Preston Corner-Notched

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p. 55

Durst Stemmed

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p. 57

Early Woodland Stemmed Points


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p. 61

Waubesa Contracting Stem/Dickson Broad Blade

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pp. 63-64

Middle Woodland Broad Corner-Notched Points

Snyders Corner-Notched/Manker Corner-Notched

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pp. 67-68

Steuben Expanded Stemmed/McCoy Corner-Notched/ Monona Stemmed

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pp. 69-70

Late Prehistoric Woodland and Oneota Arrowheads

Honey Creek Corner-Notched

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pp. 73-74

Cahokia/Grant Side-Notched

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pp. 75-76

Madison Triangular

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pp. 77-78


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pp. 79-87


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pp. 89-91

E-ISBN-13: 9781587294419
E-ISBN-10: 1587294419
Print-ISBN-13: 9780877458708
Print-ISBN-10: 0877458707

Page Count: 104
Publication Year: 2003

Edition: first

OCLC Number: 56109471
MUSE Marc Record: Download for A Projectile Point Guide for the Upper Mississippi River Valley

Research Areas


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Subject Headings

  • Projectile points -- Mississippi River Valley -- Guidebooks.
  • Mississippi River Valley -- Antiquities -- Guidebooks.
  • Indians of North America -- Implements -- Mississippi River Valley -- Guidebooks.
  • Indians of North America -- Mississippi River Valley -- Antiquities -- Guidebooks.
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