I want to thank the people who responded with information about Pinkston. We are still hoping more individuals will come forward to provide us with other information. Wendell and Diane Richards of Frost and Velma Ballew from the same city were able to tell us bits and pieces. When there was so little written about a rural community, it isn’t easy to acquire documented information.

If you will look at the two projectile points illustrated today, you will see they look almost identical in outline. Needless to say, this is a good illustration of the problems facing people who do or attempt to do typology. You cannot use the outline of a point as the sole guide in making a decision as what each point should be called. Even the best typology books cannot correct this problem. Every book available I am aware of gives one or more top views of each point. To be more accurate, the writer/illustrator should also provide a side view so the reader could visually see the thickness of the stem and the blade sections. In the case of today’s two projectile points, a side view would quickly show the wedge shape stem of the Bulverde point. In turn, the reader would also note the stem of the Carrollton point is not wedge shaped.

In my favorite typology book, “A Field Guide to Stone Artifacts of Texas Indians” by Ellen Sue Turner and Thomas R. Hester, they failed to put the two dots, one on each side of the stem, indicating where the stem grinding stopped on the Carrollton point. In the description for the Carrollton point, the authors did note some Carrollton points had the stems ground. Included with each projectile point in the book is a small map of Texas showing the general distribution of each point or tool. These small maps are invaluable when trying to decide what you are holding in your hand. For instance if you were in South Texas looking at a stemless, barbless point, the book would show you are probably holding a Kinney point. Three other similar looking points, Matamoros, Tortugas, and Catan, come from the same area. Separating the four is based on size and what the base is shaped like, square, oval or indented. However, if the point has grinding along the sides of the stem, then you need to go back to the book and check all of the points listed as belonging to one of the Paleo time periods. The distribution area for each type is important when trying to define what type.

With the Carrollton and Bulverde points, the distribution areas overlap especially for the Bulverde. And the overall area is much larger for Bulverde going from the San Antonio area eastward to the Beaumont/Port Arthur region than northward to the Fort Worth/Dallas area, westward into the middle of the Edwards Plateau and back to San Antonio. On the other hand, the distribution for the Carrollton point is an oval running more or less parallel to the Trinity River and its upper branches. The area does not quite reach the Red River nor does it extend into the Piney Woods of East Texas. It does cover part of the upper middle sections of the Brazos River between Abilene and Fort Worth.

I can’t help but speculate as to why the Bulverde has a much larger area of distribution than the Carrollton. The authors who compiled the book were not physically looking at each example of a specific type. Instead they were depending on each archeologist who described a point type from a certain site. If the archeologist was not exceptionally good in typology, then part or all of the points he typed may be wrong. And in some cases, the report published for a site does not illustrate the points recovered. Instead the archeologist listed the point or points by name in the write-up. And needless to say, the first mistake always creates another and so on, etc.

The best example of this problem happened on our own local Richland/Chambers Lake Project. Two other projectile point look alikes are the Godley and the Yarbrough dart points. The distribution for the Yarbrough is all of East Texas extending into the mid-sections of the Brazos River valley. On the other hand, the Godley is normally found within a hundred miles, more or less, on either side of the middle Brazos. The small town of Godley near Cleburne is considered to be near the center of distribution. One of the archeologists with SMU did the typology for most of the projectile points from 41 FT 201 known as Bird Point Island. I discovered this site back in 1971 when much of the area was being cleared of timber. Today the site is now under 35 to 40 feet of water when the lake is full. Even with the lake down in its present condition, the site is still under 25 to 30 feet of water. This is one of the sites in Richland/Chambers Lake which has a SAL designation. A SAL site is the highest protection status provided for an archeological site. Anyone caught collecting from a SAL site would not like the consequences.

The archeologists from SMU who did the typology on the dart points from Bird Point Island mistakenly typed all of the Godley points as Yarbrough points. Sounds like a simple mistake but it now has created an even greater problem. For years, Yarbrough points were thought to belong to the Early Archaic time period dating to 5,000 to 6,000 years ago. On the other hand, Godley points typically date to the Late Archaic period around 2,500 to 3,500 years ago. In other words the Yarbrough was considered to be about twice as old as the Godley. However, when the archeologist mistyped the Godleys as Yarbroughs along with much newer in time Carbon 14 dates from the levels where the points were found, everyone who read the reports concluded the Yarbrough was not nearly as old as previously thought. Then to help compound the problem, Dr. Dee Ann Story, who is considered to be one of the finest archeologists in the south, picked up this piece of incorrect information and added it to her huge publication defining many of the archeological cultures along the southern gulf area. One problem has lead to several others. I have met with the archeologist who started all of this and shown him his error but for now it is too late. A complete new article needs to be written correcting this mistake. Typology is not easy!

Next week: Another example of questionable analysis, Carrollton Axe


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