Picture of a Merrimack point - 59mm - 435-18-M (Shown Twice Size) Picture of a Merrimack point - 38mm - 422-9-AE (Shown Twice Size)

Point Type: MERRIMACK
Also See: Bradley Spike, Dewart Stemmed, Duncan's Island, Dustin,  Durst Stemmed, Garver's Ferry, LamokaNeville, Piney Island, Randolph, Sandhill, Sylvan Lake, Swan Lake, Wading River

Location: New England States

Associated Dates: 6000 - 5000 B.P. - Middle Archaic 
Morphology: Stemmed

General Description: The Merrimack stemmed point type has a narrow  trianguloid blade shape with slightly convex blade edges while straight blade edges are rare.  The Merrimack was a dart point.  The shoulders in most specimens are neatly executed but are small and can be well defined or rounded and often angle away from the base.  Some rare examples approach the stem at right angles.  The stems are long, wide and well thinned and have parallel sides on 72% of the specimens and slightly expanded stems on 18% of the specimens or slightly contracting stems on 10% of the specimens.  The base of the stem is most often straight or slightly convex but never concave.  Stem grinding is most often present. 

The Merrimack point type is the last of the Neville complex of point types.  

The size of the Merrimack point ranges from 25 mm to 65 mm in length. The average size for the point is in the 40 mm range.

The Merrimack type is typically made from local materials principally cherts, quartz, and quartzite as well as fine grained igneous rocks. 

The Merrimack can be found in Massachusetts, all of southern New England into Vermont and New Hampshire, Connecticut and down into southern New York,  northern New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania.  

The Merrimack type was named by Dena Dincauze in 1976 for points found at the Neville site in Amoskeg,  at the Merrimack River, Manchester, New Hampshire.

NOTE: Merrimack points that have been resharpened will result in specimens with shorter and narrower blades than they had when they were in as new condition.  The shoulders on these resharpened specimens will be greatly diminished in size.

Perino notes that it is very possible to mistake a worn out Neville point for a Merrimack point.

Snow reports that the Merrimack type has a limited or restricted distribution area, primarily around the Merrimack river drainage according to Dincauze and Mulholland (1977), perhaps attributed to some intensified regionalism of the point or due to some climatic fluctuation or event that took place around 6000 B.P.


About the Point Above Left (shown twice size): The large sized Merrimack stemmed point stemmed form pictured at the top left hand side of this page, was found in Plymouth County, Massachusetts and was once in a very old Andover, Massachusetts artifact collection.  It is 59 mm in length, 24 mm wide at the shoulders and 10.6 mm at its thickest point, which is in mid blade. The stem is heavily ground and is thinned to 6.5 mm.  The stem measures 16 mm wide and is 12.4 mm long.  The point is made from a white quartz material that retains much field dirt in knapping scars.  Catalog Number 435-18-M

About the Point Above Right (shown twice size):
The average sized Merrimack stemmed point pictured at the top right hand side of this page, was found by me along the banks of the Housatonic River in the town of Milford, Connecticut at the old Baldwin Station site.  This point was impact damaged and  the blade has been historically retouched.  The point  is made from white quartz.  You will notice that the point blade appears to be canted to the right.  A historical impact seems to have fractured the point and it was resharpened and reworked into a smaller asymmetric point.  The point has some river water patina.  It is 38 mm in length in its present form, 13 mm wide at the shoulders which are diminished in size due to rework, and 7 mm at its thickest point, which is in mid blade. The stem heavily ground and is thinned to 5 mm in thickness. The stem measures 10.5 mm wide and is 14 mm long.   Catalog Number 422-9-AE

References: Boudreau, Fogelman, Hranicky (1), Justice (1), Overstreet, Perino (3), Snow

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