Epic Heartbreaker.

Edgychris1

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Mar 13, 2021
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Hi folks,
Found this one today. It is missing stem only. You can see snap off point.

What is this?
Definitely quite nice but broken still.
 

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Relicgrubber

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Judging by punch mark on the Barbs/Ears, I would say it is a side notched arrowhead. It would have been a symmetrically perfect point had the base been intact. Congrats on your find Chris!
 

smokeythecat

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There is such a thing as a snap off base point. I have a couple. I don't think yours are broken.
 

Relicgrubber

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A knapper Intentionally snapping a base off a arrowhead never made sense to me. Why not just make it without a base.

Snapped base point are broken points in my book. Who ever came up with that was wanting to feel good about a broken base point they found.

And yes... His is broken imo.
 
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Edgychris1

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Maybe Natives from the Beekman Era snapped it off to be more like theirs. Lol jk. Didnt know about intentionally base snapping as well as broad tip sacrificing. Thanks for the input folks. I think it an old one. Quartzite.
 

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Tdog

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I never bought in to the snapped based points; Kirk in particular. Evident for me to say not unintentional. Yours is snapped Chris and I think unintentional.
 

Tdog

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I don't think there's enough defining characteristics for ME to say at my skill level. It sure looks like it could be though.
 

Relicgrubber

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A Kirk by any other name... That would have been my call also. I just didn’t know what they call them in the Far East USA.
 

Tnmountains

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Very nice find still. I think many of the kirks were broke but hafted and used anyway. The skill level on them was phenomenal. I have a few that where they actually reworked at the break.
 

bfloyd4445

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That point would still be lethal and could be fitted to a shaft solidly. That tiny bit missing from the point would not detract much if any from the points ability to kill. Nice find
 

Charl

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It can be very hard to know the type when the stem is snapped. Stating the obvious, sorry. But I would definitely not assume it was purposely snapped. One tool in unraveling type is what a person already knows about the site where the piece was found. And the person familiar with the site is in the best position to make the call.

For instance, this point was found at a site that has produced Susquehanna Broad Points, so that knowledge may lean me in that direction for an ID.

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On your point, impossible not to notice the blade is serrated, or erose. Without knowing your site, this tells me that your point was most likely a Middle Archaic Neville point. I would say Neville with 99% certainty, due to rarity of broad bladed points with erose blades, in southern New England. And I would not assume it was snapped on purpose at all. Neville comes in both broad, and narrow, blade forms. And it is the broad blade forms that are so often serrated. All this points toward your point being a serrated broad blade Neville point, IMHO.

And, going with odds here. If it came off a site with a known Early Archaic component, Kirk would be a possibility. And it still could be, but much rarer in New England. And, if the blade were not serrated, more broad blade types would come into play.
 

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Edgychris1

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This point wasn't found too far from the one below which I guess is also possible Kirk.

Maybe 100 feet away
 

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redbeardrelics

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Nice point what ever it is !
I have not come to any personal conclusions regarding intentionally snapped base points, and have not found any that come to mind as I write this. With that said, there does seem to be quite a few found in certain regions, and most of them appear to have the same characteristics as Kirk type points. It seems to me that if they were not intentionally snapped, then the points just broke at their weak spot, which might be an indicator of the type of work or job those type points were used for. This makes me wonder why Kirk points from my region of the Delmarva peninsula don't seem to be found near as often with the bases snapped, like they seem to in other areas? I think that Kirk points where they are found, tend to be classed as the same general age as Decatur type points, which more often than not have burin flaked bases. The most logical reason I have heard for burin flaked bases on Decatur points was to provided a dull flat base to the point to help prevent splitting the shafts they were hafted too, the same general purpose as ground bases in my opinion. Perhaps some knappers in certain regions discovered that it was easier, or more controllable, to thin the point base to a desired thickness, and then snap it off, than it was to finish a base and then try to take off burin flakes from each direction. To an unskilled knapper like me, base burin flaking seems to be one of the most difficult knaps to perform?
 

Tdog

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Nice point what ever it is !
I have not come to any personal conclusions regarding intentionally snapped base points, and have not found any that come to mind as I write this. With that said, there does seem to be quite a few found in certain regions, and most of them appear to have the same characteristics as Kirk type points. It seems to me that if they were not intentionally snapped, then the points just broke at their weak spot, which might be an indicator of the type of work or job those type points were used for. This makes me wonder why Kirk points from my region of the Delmarva peninsula don't seem to be found near as often with the bases snapped, like they seem to in other areas? I think that Kirk points where they are found, tend to be classed as the same general age as Decatur type points, which more often than not have burin flaked bases. The most logical reason I have heard for burin flaked bases on Decatur points was to provided a dull flat base to the point to help prevent splitting the shafts they were hafted too, the same general purpose as ground bases in my opinion. Perhaps some knappers in certain regions discovered that it was easier, or more controllable, to thin the point base to a desired thickness, and then snap it off, than it was to finish a base and then try to take off burin flakes from each direction. To an unskilled knapper like me, base burin flaking seems to be one of the most difficult knaps to perform?

The split shaft vs the slotted shaft dilemma surfaces again. Shaft splitting from impact only comes into play with darts and arrows. Those big ole toothy Kirks and the like were used primarily as knives I believe. That would make sense with the snapped bases occurring during use. I also understand that basal grinding was done to prevent the hafting material (sinew, plant fiber, etc...) from being easily cut thus compromising the haft.
 
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bfloyd4445

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Imagine a series of these points with the bases locked into a slotted hardwood handle to form a battle axe. Wood make a very nasty weapon. I believe from listening to you guys that they were used for other purposes than what you envisioned.
 

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