First Advisor

Marc R. Feldesman

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.) in Anthropology






Indians of North America -- Great Basin -- Antiquities, Projectile points, Great Basin -- Antiquities



Physical Description

1 online resource (60 p.)


This paper presents a refined methodology for distinguishing the stone points of arrows from the stone points of spear thrower darts in archaeological assemblages from the Great Basin. The methodology was developed from a sample of 111 complete stone points collected during the archaeological reconnaissance and testing of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, Harney County, Oregon, 1971-1974. The points were measured for five metric variables and frequency histograms of each variable were generated by computer. The effectiveness of each variable as an index of functional class (i.e., arrow point vs. dart point) was judged on the basis of the apparent bimodality of its curve and the t-test. The variables of weight and neck width showed significant bimodality, confirming the work of previous researchers. A new variable, stem thickness, also showed significant bimodality. All three can be considered useful indices of functional class. They also appear to be functionally independent. An attempt was made at developing a multivariable index of point function, using a multivariable clustering analysis, the K-means test. Results of the K-means test were inconclusive but showed promise for further development.


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