3.13 Archaic Projectile Points
When flint tools of similar shapes and sizes are found in a cluster of sites dating to about the same time, scientists conclude that those tools were made by people of the same culture. Perhaps groups of Indians notched their spear points one way or chipped the stems to a certain length because those forms were best for the hunting methods used by the group. Certain shapes may have been repeated because they were customary; that is, one man chipped his points a certain way because that is how his grandfather had done it. Not all Indian flint chippers had equal skills, nor did each piece of flint chip the same. Thus, there is a range of quality within each point type.
The Archaic Indians are known for their many types of flint spear points and knives. By looking at spear points found throughout the Midwest, it is possible to suggest how groups of Archaic people, as well as other cultures, moved from place to place or traded. The many sizes and shapes of Archaic spear points in part reflect the long time period over which these cultures existed. Yet, in contrast to the Paleoindians, whose spear points remained similar over wide areas of North America, the variety of Archaic points may also mean that Archaic groups began making special point types as they adapted to their own regions.