Picture of Bare Island Point - 89mm -161-65-V Picture of Bare Island Point - 71mm -269-87-DD

Also See: Duncan's Island, 
Genesee, Lakawaxen, Lamoka , Neville, Newmanstown, Piedmont, Piney Island, Poplar Island 

Location: Northeastern United States

Associated Dates: 4500 - 1500 B.P. - Late Archaic

General Description: The Bare Island point is a stemmed, medium to large sized, finely flaked,  point having a slender isosceles triangular shaped blade.  The stem is straight with generally parallel sides and the basal edge is also straight.

The blade is usually slender in shape although extreme narrow-bladed examples are in the minority.  The blade can exhibit considerable symmetry and some blades show asymmetry with one blade edge being straight and the other being excurvate.  The blade edges are generally straight to convex with the edges of larger specimens tending to be straighter.  Greatest convexity usually occurs at the middle of the blade.  Tips are sharply pointed and are always on center with the stem although there is no distinct medial ridge.  Points made of quartz are thicker that those manufactured from other lithic materials.  Probably this is a function of the way quartz flakes, rather than a trait of the cultural significance.

Shoulders are slightly rounded and tapered but not conspicuously so.  On a few specimens the shoulders are quite sharply angled and well defined but may have asymmetrical shoulders and some specimens have a shoulder totally missing.  An obtuse angle is formed between the blade and the stem, but in some instances a right angle is present.  There are intergrades between the Bare Island point type and the Poplar Island point, but the rounded shoulder is conspicuous on the latter type.  This is a distinguishing characteristic.  The shoulder on the Bare Island point type is generally more crisp if present.

The stem is always narrower than the blade.  The long sides of the stem are parallel or nearly so and form a nearly perfect square or rectangle.  The base of the stem is usually quite straight, but it is sometimes slightly convex.  A few examples intergrade with a large corner-notched point form that has an expanded stem.  There are often traces of grinding along the stem edges and at the base.  Corners of the stem approach right angles and on some specimens they are quite sharp.

The type is found in the lower Susquehanna Valley, particularly the river islands in the valley.  The range extends southward along the Elk River in Maryland, the Chesapeake and the lower Potomac.  East of the Susquehanna, it is found along the headwater of the White Clay Creek and the Brandywine in Chester County. West of the Susquehanna the type is not common in the Adams and Franklin County sections of the Cumberland Valley.  The distribution of these points extends across New Jersey and into southern and eastern New York and southeastern Connecticut along Long Island sound.  The point occurs in some abundance on Staten Island and Long Island and with diminishing frequency northward and up into the Hudson Valley at least to Saratoga County. 

Justice indicates that the Bare Island type is a part of the Lamoka Cluster of points.   Fogelman suggests the Bare Island is a resharpened Duncan's Island point.

The size of the Bare Island ranges from 30 mm to 98 mm in length with the average being about 51 mm.  In cross section the point is oval and relatively thick.

The Bare Island was made from quartz, quartzite and rhyolite, siltstone, argillite with very few made from flint, gneiss and schist.

The Bare Island point type was named by W. Fred Kinsey III in 1959 for the Bare Island site in Pennsylvania.

About the Point Above (Left): The point pictured at the top left hand side of this page, is from Staten Island, New York and was found along the banks of the Hudson river. One side of the blade has a strong shoulder while the other shoulder is quite weak and a strong bevel indicates that the left side of the blade and shoulder was reworked.   This is a very thick speciment made from a dark black siltstone.  The point measures 89 mm in length, 34 mm wide and 13.6 mm at its thickest point. The stem is 18.5 mm wide and is 20 mm long. The stem sides are ground smooth and the stem is much thinner than the blade (8.7 mm thick at mid stem). The basal edge of the stem is ground. This blade is very interesting.  One face is very highly weathered and eroded and the face shown in the photo above still shows knapping scars.    The blade edges reveal some fine retouch and microscopic examination shows use wear on both blade edges although erosion may have caused some of this wear as well. Catalog Number 161-65-V

About the Point Above (Right): The point pictured at the top right hand side of this page, was found in New London, Connecticut along the shoreline of Long Island Sound and is from the former George Zalesky collection. This blade exhibits two strong shoulders and is quite symmetrical.  This is a somewhat thick specimen made from a dark black weathered siltstone.  The point measures 71 mm in length, 29 mm wide and 9.6 mm at its thickest point. The stem is 18 mm wide and is 16 mm long. The stem sides are ground smooth and the stem is thinner than the blade (7.3 mm thick at mid stem). The basal edge of the stem is ground.  This specimen very highly weathered and eroded but still shows knapping scars. Catalog Number 269-87-DD

References: Fogleman, Hranicky (1), Justice (1), Overstreet

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