Picture of a Scottsbluff Point - 68mm

Also See: Eden, Hardin, Holland, Hollenberg Stemmed, Stone Square Stemmed

Location: Midwestern to Eastern United States

Associated Dates: 10,000-8,000 B.P. - Transitional Paleo
Morphology: Stemmed

General Description: The Scottsbluff point is a medium to  fairly large sized point that has straight to convex blade edges and a rectangular stem.  The shoulders are weak and angular.  The stem may be straight to slightly expanded.  The basal edges are straight to slightly convex.  The stem edge is commonly ground.  The Western Scottsbluff points tend to have parallel flaking; whereas the South-Central Scottsbluff points are usually randomly flaked .

The Scottsbluff point type have been found from West-Central Canada and the Rocky Mountains to the eastern woodlands fringe and as far northeastward as Wisconsin.  One was found in St. Charles County, Missouri near St. Louis and they have been recovered as far south as northwestern Louisiana, southwestern Arkansas, Texas and Oklahoma.  The wide distribution of this type, from Texas to Canada suggests considerable antiquity which is supported by radiocarbon dating.  The high quality of workmanship, however, suggests a specialization that must have had its origin elsewhere, possibly from Archaic stemmed forms in the Mississippi Valley.

Wormington (1957) suggests that the Scottsbluff type can be subdivided into two sub-types.  The Type I and the Type II. 

The Type I tend to be longer, thicker in cross section and with weakly defined shoulders.  The stem being formed more by heavy basal grinding than by chipping.  These Type I Scottsbluff points have been given names such as the  "First View" and "San Jon". 

The Type II tends to be shorter and wider, thinner in cross section and with more clearly defined shoulders.  The Type II is more triangular in shape and has a more definite stem and the blade has a lenticular cross-section as opposed to the diamond shaped cross section often seen in the Type I.   Scottsbluffs of the Type II found in Missouri and Illinois often have slightly to marked expanding stems with even more pronounced shoulders.  These particular points are probably the latest in the series and demonstrate the evolutionary state between the earlier Scottsbluffs to the later Hardin points.  

Wormington also suggests that the Scottsbluff point be assigned to the Cody complex as represented at the Horner site near Cody, Wyoming.  At this site the Scottsbluff point was found in association with the Eden point type and the Cody knife form.  Bison remains were present at the sites that the Scottsbluff was found.

Bell states: " the Scottsbluff point represents some of the finest lithic workmanship to be found in the New World.  The quality of chipping often supplies a clue to the identity, even in the case of artifact fragments."

Perino states in his notes and comments: "These points are related to the Midwestern variants known as Hardin Barbed points, the Hardin having a greater basal variation and barbs.  Both types display exceedingly fine workmanship.  Scottsbluff point from the southern portion of their range differ in basal configuration from the Plains type.  There have been found in the Southern Scottsbluff area nearly a dozen St. Charles points of Scottsbluff manufacture, which had identical blade dimensions but with Dovetail stems instead of rectangular stems.  A relationship between the Hardin points and the St. Charles point has been postulated."

The size range of the Scottsbluff ranges from 50 mm to 130 mm in length with the average size being 88 mm. 

The Scottsbluff point type was named by E. H. Barbour and C. B. Schultz in 1932 after a bison quarry site near Scottsbluff, Nebraska. 

About The Point Above (Shown Twice Size): The small Type I, Scottsbluff  blade pictured at the top of this page, was found in Arkansas. The point is made from a beautiful tan and mustard colored flint which may be Cobden Chert. This blade is not the best example for the type as it is a knife form and not a projectile point. As such the shoulders on this specimen are not very well defined. The blade exhibits parallel flaking patterns and excellent workmanship.  The point is slightly dulled through use wear and the left side of the blade edge shows retouch performed to resharpen, where as, the right blade edge is excurvate.  The base is  ground as are the stem sides. The base edge has been thinned by the removal of three to four short flakes per side which are clearly shown in the photo. Overall, the point measures 69 mm in length, is 29 mm wide across the  barbless shoulders, and is only 7.3 mm thick in mid blade. The stem is 15 mm long and the base of the stem is 22 mm wide. The stem is 5.6 mm thick at mid stem. Catalog Number 153-245-D

References: Bell (1), Dragoo (4), Elder, Hranicky (1), Justice (1), Overstreet, Perino (1, 5), Waldorf

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