What are Projectile Points?
In archaeology, the term projectile point refers to a class of pointed, chipped, and ground stone objects that were once fastened to a wooden shaft and propelled by a hand-held thrusting or throwing motion, or by a hand-held devices that launched the stone-tipped wooden shaft into flight.
In Illinois, and elsewhere in North America, Native Americans made stone projectile points for a variety of effective weapons. They made thrusting lances, throwing spears, darts spears propelled by a hand-held throwing stick called an atlatl, and arrows delicate, stone-tipped wooden shafts propelled by a bow. Some Native American cultures, especially during the early prehistoric period, used projectile points as knives.
Projectile points made for lances and spears tend to be the largest, and thus the heaviest. Dart points are generally smaller and lighter, and arrow points are the smallest and lightest projectile points. In general, lance points and spear points are the oldest projectile points. Arrow points are the youngest.