Point Type: POPLAR ISLAND
Also See: Bare Island , Boats Blade, Bradley Spike, Cape Stemmed, Cypress Stemmed, Holmes, Morrow Mountain, Piscataway, Rossville ,  
Savannah River , Schuylkill, Squibnocket Stemmed, Stark , Taconic Stemmed

Location: Northeastern United States

Associated Dates: 6000 - 3500 B.P.- Middle to Late Archaic
Morphology: Narrow
Stemmed

General Description: The Poplar Island point is a medium to large sized, long, symmetrical, narrow bladed, finely flaked, contracting stemmed spear or dart point with very weak tapered shoulders and a short rounded or pointed base. Occasionally, the base is squared off. Typical Poplar Island examples measure between 47 mm and 100 mm in length.

Many materials were used in the manufacture of this style of point. Typically local materials were used to make the Poplar Island. These could include quartzite, argillite, hornfels, siltstone, chalcedonies and some flints. Fogelman reports that for some reason it seems that jaspers were avoided.

The Poplar Island is closely related to the Bare Island point and both points probably have their antecedents somewhere in the Virginia and Carolina Piedmont area and on the Savannah River in Georgia. The Poplar Island is typically found in southeastern Pennsylvania, western New Jersey and northern Maryland although it is sporadically found in southern and eastern New York, Connecticut and Massachusetts. 

Note: that there exist many other regional types which are similar in shape and size. For that reason, if location of the specimen's find is not known, it can be difficult to correctly type the specimen. 

The Poplar Island was named by W. Fred Kinsey III for the Kent -Hally site on Bare Island, Pennsylvania (Kinsey 1959: 128-129). The point was found with broken steatite bowls.

About the Point on the Left: The point pictured above and on the left is a classic example of the Poplar Island type. The point is from my collection, and is a very large sized Poplar Island point made from what I believe is a reddish and tanish siltstone that has some amount of fine granular mica inclusions. The point measures 95 mm in length, 26 mm at the widest point which are the shoulders. The distal end of the blade is on average 6 mm thick for a full 43 mm of the blade's length, it then thickens gradually to 10 mm at the shoulders and then thins out again to 5mm at the base. The base has been ground as have the sides of the stem. The edges of the blade reveal fine retouch flaking and are quite sharp. This point came from Marshalltown in Salem County, New Jersey. Catalog Number 39-40-C

About the Point on the Right: The point pictured above and on the right is an average sized Poplar Island point made from what I believe is felsite that has reddish iron oxide inclusions. The point measures 59 mm in length, 16 mm at the widest point, and is 7 mm thick along the blade with the base thinning to 5 mm. The base has been ground as have the sides of the stem. This point was a surface find from a farm in Barre, Massachusetts and the color of the tip shows the effects of weathering. The base of this point is not pointed but shows some rounding. Catalog Number 319-07-C

References: Justice, Fogelman, Overstreet, Ritchie

Copyright 1997 - 2009 LITHICS-Net    WWW.LITHICSNET.COM

Use your Browser's BACK Button to return to the LITHICS-Net Index.