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A Folsom projectile point

Folsom points are a distinct form of chipped stone projectile points associated with the Folsom Tradition of North America. The style of toolmaking was named after Folsom, New Mexico where the first sample was found within the bone structure of a bison in 1927[1].



The points are bifacially worked and have a symmetrical, leaf-like shape with a concave base and wide, shallow grooves running almost the entire length of the point. The edges are finely worked. The characteristic groove, known as fluting, may have served to aid hafting to a wooden spear shaft or dart or perhaps to improve penetration of the target. The fluting may also have been a stylistic element or have had some symbolic purpose. The fluting required great technical ability to effect, and it took archaeologists many years of experimentation to replicate it.

Age and cultural affiliations

Folsom points are found widely across North America and are dated to the period between 9500 BC and 8000 BC. The discovery of these artifacts in the early 20th century raised questions about when the first humans arrived in North America. The prevailing idea of a time depth of about 3,000 years was clearly mistaken. In 1932, an even earlier style of projectile point was found, Clovis, dating back to 13,500 years ago. Clovis points have been found in situ in association with mammoth skeletons[2].

In the Great Plains area, Folsom points were replaced over time by Plano points of the various Plano cultures[3].

See also

External links


  • Hillerman, Anthony G. (1973). "The Hunt for the Lost American". The Great Taos Bank Robbery and Other Indian Country Affairs. University of New Mexico Press. ISBN 0-8263-0306-4.  republished in The Great Taos Bank Robbery and Other Indian Country Affairs. New York: Harper Paperbacks. May 1997. ISBN 0-06-101173-8. 


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