PAGE 1
DALTON FLUTING
REVERSE HINGE SNAPPED PREFORM BASES
OLIVE BRANCH SITE &
OTHER SITES

 EARLY ARCHAIC
SOUTHERN ILLINOIS & MISSOURI

10,000 TO 11,000 YEARS AGO
1 OF 2 PAGES
COPYRIGHT JUNE 30, 2005 PETER A. BOSTROM
End view of early stage fluted Dalton preform.
END VIEW OF EARLY STAGE PREFORM
OLIVE BRANCH SITE

Dalton preform abstract image.

abstract
FLUTED DALTON PREFORMS
WITH CHANNEL FLAKE HINGE FRACTURES
EARLY ARCHAIC

SOUTHERN ILLINOIS & MISSOURI

    This article illustrates several examples of early stage and one late stage Dalton point manufacturing break pattern that relates to fluting technology. Fluting technology was invented during the Paleo-Indian period in North America and the technique was used sporadically well into the Early Archaic period. Evidence of basal thinning by percussion flaking has been discovered on several Dalton Complex sites. A few examples of end snapped Dalton point preforms were recovered from the Olive Branch site. There is no question that fluting technology was being used by Dalton knappers to make some of their projectile points.

    "The (fluting) failures by Dalton knappers, as rare as they may have been, are a potential source of confusion for stone tool typologists. They are identical to more ancient specimens from workshops of the Clovis Phase of the Fluted Point Tradition."---2002, Richard Michael Gramly, PhD., "Olive Branch: A very Early Archaic Site On The Mississippi River," p.186.
    "The elegant proportions and thinness of unresharpened Dalton projectile points were achieved by careful attention to detail at every stage of manufacture. Preforms were thinned by fluting, if necessary."---2002, Richard Michael Gramly, PhD., "Olive Branch: A very Early Archaic Site On The Mississippi River," p. 186.
   
"Dalton preforms look very similar to Clovis preforms in outline---"---1983, Dan F. and Phllis A. Morse, "Archaeology of the Central Mississippi Valley." p. 72.
   
"I believe that it is a correct conclusion that Dalton-point technology includes systematic technological fluting and should be considered a fluted-point technology."---1997, Bruce A. Bradley, Sloan Site Biface and Projectile Point Technology," Dan F. Morse, "Sloan, A Paleoindian Dalton Cemetery in Arkansas," p. 55.

Dalton prefrom abstract image.

HINGE FRACTURED DALTON PREFORMS
EARLY ARCHAIC PERIOD
SOUTHERN ILLINOIS

   All the broken Dalton preform bases illustrated in this article, were either surface collected in cultivated fields or excavated from the Olive Branch site. Dalton points were named by Carl H. Chapman after S. P. Dalton who had collected several examples. There are many different styles of Dalton points. Some of the different types are Breckenridge, Colbert, Hardaway, Greenbrier, Sloan and Meserve. They date to the Early Archaic period 10,000 to 11,000 years ago. The Dalton Complex covers a wide area in the southeastern region of the United States. Dalton points are found in central Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas and eastward to the Atlantic coast to the Carolinas and south to central Florida. 

Late stage fluted Dalton preform base with hinge fracture.
CLICK ON PICTURE FOR LARGE TRIPLE IMAGE
LATE STAGE DALTON FLUTED PREFORM
HOWARD COUNTY, MISSOURI

    This broken base of a late stage Dalton preform was found by Bruce Arnett, near Boonville, Missouri in Howard County. Itís important because it relates to fluting technology and illustrates that some Dalton points were fluted.
    This Dalton point was broken when it was struck on the base in an attempt to drive off a long narrow channel flake. Instead of thinning the base by fracturing off the surface, the flute flake dove or plunged downward causing the point to break apart. The remnant of a prepared striking platform is clearly evident on the base.
    This Dalton point base is made of good quality white chert and measures 1 5/8 inches (4.1 cm) long, 1 1/8 inch (2.8 cm) wide and 1/4 of an inch (6 mm) thick.

     Stone tool manufacturing sites produce the most information about stone tool making technology. Of particular interest is the lithic debris from preforms broken during various stages of manufacture, like the end snapped bases illustrated in this article. More rare are unbroken preforms, in various stages of manufacture. All of these artifacts help archaeologists understand the processes involved for each sequential stage of manufacture. They also help today's lithic craftsmen duplicate precise copies of these projectile points and knives.

Early stage flluted Dalton base with hinge fracture.
CLICK ON PICTURE FOR LARGE TRIPLE IMAGE

EARLY STAGE DALTON FLUTED PREFORM
ST. CLAIR COUNTY, ILLINOIS

   This early stage Dalton fluted preform was found in a cultivated field in St. Clair County, Illinois. Other Dalton points were also surface collected on this site. This is a typical example of an early stage Dalton fluted preform that failed during the fluting process. The channel flake plunged downward breaking the preform in half.
    This preform measures 1 1/8 inches (2.8 cm) long, 1 1/2 inches (3.8 cm) wide and 5/16 of an inch (8 mm) thick.

     A common manufacturing break pattern that is found on Clovis sites are the bases of preforms that were broken during the fluting process. Although rare, the same type of manufacturing break also occurs on Dalton sites. These broken preforms failed during the fluting process for any one of a number of different reasons. There may have been a flaw in the stone or the prepared striking platform may have been struck at the wrong angle or with to much force. Or the striking platform may not have been properly prepared, etc., etc.

Early stage fluted Dalton preform tips with hinge fractures.
CLICK ON PICTURE FOR LARGER  IMAGE
EARLY STAGE DALTON FLUTED PREFORM TIPS
OLIVE BRANCH SITE
ALEXANDER COUNTY, ILLINOIS

     These four Dalton preform tips were found during the excavation of the Olive Branch site in southern Illinois. They represent failed attempts to thin early stage preforms longitudinally by detaching a channel or flute flake from the base by percussion flaking.
    The longest example, second from the left, still has the channel flake attached to the preform. It measures 2 15/16 inches (7.5 cm) long.

     Dalton basal thinning by percussion flaking seems to have produced more hinge fractured (broken) bases on early stage preforms than on nearly finished late stage preforms. The examples found on the Olive Branch site in southern Illinois are all early stage preform breaks. They were broken from a percussion strike to a prepared platform on the base.

CONTINUE ON TO PAGE TWO

"REFERENCES"

1974, Goodyear, Albert C., "The Brand Site: A Techno-Functional Study of a Dalton Site in Northeast Arkansas," pp. 22-24.
1982
, Frison, George C. & Stanford, Dennis J., "The Agate Basin Site," p. 211.
1983, Morse, Dan F. & Morse, Phllis A., "Archaeology of the Central Mississippi Valley." p. 72.
1985, Perino, Gregory, "Selected Preforms, Points and Knives of the North American Indians," p. 97.
1987, Justice, Noel D., "Stone Age Spear and Arrow Points, of the Midcontinental and Eastern United States," pp. 40-42.
1991, Storck, Peter L., Imperialists Without A State: The Cultural Dynamics of Early Paleoindian Colonization As Seen from The Great Lakes Region," pp. 156-158, Bonnichsen, Robson & Turnmire, Karen L., "Clovis Origins and Adaptations."
1997, Bradley, Bruce A., Sloan Site Biface and Projectile Point Technology," Dan F. Morse, "Sloan, A Paleoindian Dalton Cemetery in Arkansas," p. 55.
1999, Bradley, Bruce & Frison, George, "The Fenn Cache, Clovis Weapons & Tools," p. 65.
2002, Gramly, Richard Michael, "Olive Branch: A very Early Archaic Site On The Mississippi River," p.186.

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