Americans used projectile points as tips on their lances, spears, darts,
and arrows, all weapons used primarily for hunting, occasionally fishing,
and sometimes combat. The sharp point and edges of the projectile point,
when propelled with sufficient force, penetrated the hide of an animal.
The substantial amount of animal bone found at Native American sites
is clear evidence of their hunting prowess and the effectiveness of
lances and spears had a detachable foreshaft, a short piece of wood
or bone tipped with a projectile point that fit into the larger wooden
shaft. A foreshaft allowed the hunter to disconnect the lance or spear
shaft once the point on the foreshaft was imbedded in an animal. Foreshafts
also served as knife handles. Using the projectile point as a knife,
Native American hunters could butcher the carcass of an animal to transport
smaller packages of meat back to a village.