Russell Cave Projectile Point

National Park Service, Centennial One Object Exhibit

National Park Service, Centennial One Object Exhibit

Hafted Biface, Stemmed

The significance of this projectile point is its distinct style or type, which is named for Russell Cave. It is one of the few tools of this style first identified and found in professional excavations at Russell Cave. Although not common throughout its range, this style of point is also found in most southeastern states. Dating to around 7,500 to 8,500 years ago, some archeologists suggest it is a re-sharpened or variation of the Kirk type point. Russell Cave still holds mysteries awaiting discovery. The archeology in the gaping mouth of Russell Cave in northeast Alabama has revealed the most complete sequence of early cultures, from beyond 10,000 years ago to about 1800 CE.

The double beveled edges, almost hexagonal cross section and opposing turned serration teeth are interesting adaptations to a tool style. It may have been more than just a spearpoint, it might have been used to cut and saw, much like a modern multi-tool, carried for a variety of uses. This could also be the result of distinctive re-sharpening. Casts are available for sale though the Eastern National Outlet at Russell Cave.

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  • Title: Russell Cave Projectile Point
  • Contributor: Russell Cave National Monument
  • Park Website: Park Website
  • National Park Service Catalog Number: RUCA 118
  • Measurements: L 5.5, W 2.3 cm
  • Material: Grey chert; worked on both sides, straight serrated sides, straight base
  • Date: Early Archaic