Location: West Coast to East Coast of the United States; southern and south-central portions of Western Canada; possibly into northern portions of Western Canada
General Description: “There seems to be very little information in regards to the central primary distribution area of the Agate Basin type. However, studies of collections indicate that the point can be found in the following states: Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri, Arkansas, Minnesota, Illinois, Michigan, Indiana, Ohio and much of south-central and southwestern Canada. [editor’s note: the Agate Basin form is much more widely dispersed than is indicated here. For example, the type is also found along the West Coast of the United States, in the American Southwest and Agate Basin-like points have been found into northern British Columbia.]
The size of Agate Basin point can range from 63 mm to 128 mm in length (approx 2.5 – 5.0 inches). The typical width is less than 32 mm (approx. 1.3 inches). Thickness averages 8 mm (approx. 0.3 inch). The Agate Basin was named by Frank H. H. Roberts Jr. in 1943 for examples that were recovered from the Agate Basin site in eastern Wyoming. The point type was further described by H. Marie Wormington in 1957.
The Agate Basin is a medium to large sized long, slender lanceolate unfluted blade which is usually skillfully made, especially specimens from the west. The basal edge is either concave, convex or straight and is typically ground. The blade edges are most often excurvate to slightly parallel with basal grinding extending from one-fourth to one-third of the length of the blade from the base. Basal thinning is usually not present. The cross section is typically lenticular.
In the central and eastern states areas, flaking on Agate Basin specimens is usually random with only a few points showing fine horizontal flaking. The differences in this flaking show the influence that reached the eastern states from the west during the terminal Paleo Early Archaic transitional phase. A type of Agate Basin is found in many areas of the eastern United States; however these points are cruder and lack the horizontal flaking most often seen in points originating from the western states. The eastern specimens are not as delicately made and the flakes are wider and larger.” (TEXT SOURCE: Art Gumbus, Lithics-Net)
General Description continued (SOURCE: Justice, 1987; 1995)“The blade shape varies from parallel-sided to slightly excurvate. Maximum width of the blade occurs at the midline or between the midline and tip. The cross section is bioconvex. In all variations of blade shape, nearly perfect bilateral symmetry is maintained. The blade constricts towards the base in all dimensions, and lateral grinding demarcates the haft region. Basal morphology varies from straight to convex.
Certain specimens of the type possess rounded basal features suggesting a nearly bipointed appearance. Slightly concave basal edges appear to be fairly common.”
IMPORTANT NOTE: Justice states that Agate Basin specimens with concave basal edges and sometimes oblique parallel flaking are classified as Angostura (Stone Age Spear and Arrow Points of the Midcontinental and Eastern United States; paperback edition, 1995; page 32).
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Work in Progress - To Be Continued