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Projectile Point Shape and Durability: The Effect of Thickness: Length

  • Joseph Cheshier (a1) and Robert L. Kelly (a2)

We describe an experiment that tests the hypothesis that projectile points with high thickness: length ratios are more durable than points with low thickness: length ratios. Fifty obsidian projectile points were manufactured to specific lengths, widths, and thicknesses. These were then fired into a deer carcass with a bow repeatedly until each point broke. None of the points were resharpened. The hardness of the material struck was a significant predictor of a point's durability. Controlling for this variable, however, we found that points with a high thickness: length ratio (>.121) were slightly albeit significantly more durable than those with a low ratio. No other attribute of size or shape was a significant predictor of durability.

Describimos un experimento diseñado para probar la hipótesis que las puntas de proyectil con cocientes altos espesor:largo son más durables que las puntas con cocientes bajos espesor:largo. Cincuenta puntas de proyectil de obsidiana fueron fabricadas con longitudes, anchos y espesores específicos. Estas fueron luego disparadas reiteradamente contra una carcasa de ciervo con un arco, hasta que cada una de las puntas se fracturó. Ninguna de estas puntas fue reafilada. La dureza del material impactado fue un indicador significativo de la durabilidad de una punta. Controlando esta variable, sin embargo, encontramos que las puntas con un cociente alto de espesor:largo (>.121) eran leve, aunque no significativamente más durables que aquellas con un cociente bajo. Ningún otro atributo de tamaño o de forma fue un indicador significativo de la durabilidad de las puntas.

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American Antiquity
  • ISSN: 0002-7316
  • EISSN: 2325-5064
  • URL: /core/journals/american-antiquity
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