Fluted Point Distribution in the Loess Hills of Southwestern Iowa

By Billeck, William T. | Plains Anthropologist, November 1998 | Go to article overview

Fluted Point Distribution in the Loess Hills of Southwestern Iowa


Billeck, William T., Plains Anthropologist


ABSTRACT

Clovis and Folsom points from Mills and Fremont counties in the Loess Hills of southwestern Iowa are mainly found on hilltops, the only part of the Paleoindian landscape that is likely to be exposed on the modern surface. Approximately half of the fluted points broke in manufacture. Most of the points are made of locally available chert. Nonlocal lithic material is also present, primarily in the form of finished points.

Keywords: Paleoindian; Clovis; Folsom; Loess Hills; Iowa

INTRODUCTION

This study of 33 Clovis and Folsom points from the Loess Hills and adjacent landforms of the Missouri River Alluvial Plains and the Southern Iowa Drift Plain in Mills and Fremont counties, southwestern Iowa (Fig. 1), examines the relationships between site location and geomorphology, and between site location, stage of point manufacture, and lithic material. The study area has some of the best-known archaeology in Iowa, in part because professionals have long interacted with two amateurs: Paul Rowe and D. D. Davis. Many of the points included in this study come from their collections. From the 1920s through the 1960s Rowe documented his artifact collection with a catalog and maps, carried on extensive correspondence with professional archaeologists (Green et al. 1992), and published articles. One article illustrated fluted points from the Loess Hills (Rowe 1952). Davis collected artifacts from the 1950s to the mid-1990s, documenting his collection with maps, notes, and a catalog.

The 33 points included in this study were located by checking site files, reviewing local publications, talking with collectors, and most importantly by examining the correspondence of Paul Rowe. Rowe's detailed letters contain descriptions of many fluted points in his own and other collections, along with provenience data.

Clovis and Folsom sites and find spots are poorly documented in Iowa. This situation is being rectified partly by an ongoing state-wide study of the distribution and characteristics of fluted points (Morrow 1996; Morrow and Morrow 1994, n.d.). No fluted points have been found in intact archaeological contexts in Iowa. Even a cluster of 21 Gainey points (an eastern variant of Clovis) from the Rummells-Maske site in eastern Iowa were in disturbed plowzone (Anderson and Tiffany 1972; Morrow and Morrow 1997). Fortunately, Paleoindian sites are better documented outside of Iowa. Known Clovis sites date between ca. 11,000 and 11,500 years ago, and Folsom sites between 10,200 and 10,900 years ago (Haynes 1992,1993; Hofman 1995). Clovis points are generally larger, thicker, less skillfully made, and have shorter flutes and a shallower concave base than Folsom points. Folsom points typically have flutes that extend almost to the tip (Bell 1958). Of the 33 points discussed here, 20 were examined and photographed (Figs. 2-3). Drawings of nine more points were obtained, and four are without visual documentation. Site numbers could not be assigned to about half of the points because their provenience was unknown, poorly known, or was in a secondary deposit such as a gravel bar in a creekbed.

This study distinguishes finished points from those which were broken or rejected during manufacture. A finished point has small pressure thinning flakes, a shaped base, a pointed tip, flutes on both faces, and ground basal edges. Points that broke or were rejected during manufacture are called preforms. Preforms are identified by greater thickness, absence of small thinning flakes, absence of basal edge grinding, and occasionally by a flute flake that hinged and caused the point to break. All of the points identified as preforms in this study were fluted on at least one face. Lithic material and stages of manufacture are given in Tables 1 and 2. Lithic material types follow Morrow (1994) and Reid (1980).

PALEOINDIAN SITE DISTRIBUTION

Fluted point distribution in s Iowa varies according to geographic and topographic factors. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Fluted Point Distribution in the Loess Hills of Southwestern Iowa
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.