Culminating Project Title
Date of Award
Culminating Project Type
Cultural Resources Management Archaeology: M.S.
College of Liberal Arts
Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.
Keywords and Subject Headings
tchefuncte projectile point typology oak island
In this study, metric and descriptive data were collected on lithic tools recovered from the Tchefuncte type site (16ST1), an Early Woodland archaeological site located near the shore of Lake Pontchartrain in St. Tammany Parish, Louisiana. The newly collected data supplement the previously reanalyzed artifact data from this site, which was done by R.C. Goodwin and Associates (RCGA) in 2011 to 2013 and excluded 178 tools (Heller et al. 2013) that were accessible for this analysis. The quantity and completeness of projectile point/knives (PP/Ks) from a single site and spanning a relatively short period of time (ca. 600 to 100 BC) offers a unique opportunity to study the variation within and between morphological PP/K types, a distinction frequently more difficult to parse at other sites due to variation inherent in the spread over time and geographical space. Results from statistical analysis helped elucidate differences between closely related types that are difficult to separate subjectively. Characterizing the metric, morphofunctional, and frequency data of these tool types resulted in a typological signature of PP/Ks within the Tchefuncte culture.
Study of the data obtained from the Tchefuncte site lithic subassemblage shows that well-made PP/K types such as Pontchartrain and Delhi dominated the collection. Statistical analysis of the major types found at the site was done in two groups: the simple haft Pontchartrain Group and the barbed haft Delhi Group. Types within the Pontchartrain Group are notoriously difficult to distinguish across Louisiana due to overlap within the respective definitions. However, statistics showed real differences between those classifications. Subjective opinion and then statistical analysis within the Delhi Group resulted in the provisional identification of a new type, named Oak Island. This type is very similar to the Delhi type, but exhibits a slightly expanding and shorter stem. The intermediate nature of the Oak Island tools supports the observation that PP/K types generally were shifting towards straight stemmed forms during the Early Woodland Tchefuncte culture, when compared to the preceding Late Archaic Poverty Point culture. This may reflect environmental constraints unique to the coastal Louisiana environment, or simply preferences among the Tchefuncte people.
Jeansonne, Emily and Jeansonne, Emily Meaden, "What’s the Point? The Tchefuncte Type Site Typology" (2021). Culminating Projects in Cultural Resource Management. 43.