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Variation in North American Dart Points and Arrow Points when One or Both are Present

TitleVariation in North American Dart Points and Arrow Points when One or Both are Present
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsLYMAN, L. R., T. L. VANPOOL, and M. J. O’BRIEN
JournalJournal of Archaeological Science
Volume35
Pages2805-2812
PublisherElseviers
Place PublishedLondon a.o.
Type of Articlearticle
Publication LanguageEnglish
ISSN Number0305-4403
Abstract

J. Whittaker: There should be an increase in variability with introduction of new technology as makers experiment to find best combination of attributes, followed by decrease as less functional variations are discarded. Test when arrows are replacing darts, in stratig sequences in Verkamp Shelter, MO, Mummy Cave, WY, and Gatecliff Shelter, NV. Appears to work: “Diversity in dart-point classes should increase as artisans experiment with modifying dart points into effective arrow pts. Thus diversity in projectile points in general (arrow + dart) should be high ... when bow and arrow first appear but then decrease as some classes of dart points and less-efficient arrow points cease to be manufactured.” [But many problems in testing an interesting idea: 1) depends on assumption that can tell dart from arrow point, which is by Thomas weight + neck width in some cases, by typology in other, and neither of these is good enough. 2) assumes that variation is functional, ignoring style. If all variation is functional, one should not expect standardization anyway, since artifacts are seen as responding to changing adaptive needs. 3) The trends visible in the variability measures are very slight. 4) Both positive and negative trends explained by “experimentation” plus “archaeological misclassification” allowing any trend to fit the model.