The durability and variety of point forms make them ideal for classification and study. Point forms, however, can vary by quality of material, skill of the maker, breakage and reshaping, and reshaping by use. The single point types illustrated in this guide include a wide range of variability around each modal form depicted. Very similar point forms have been given different names by archaeologists working throughout North America. Despite these factors, the points illustrated represent broad patterns of past shared behavior, craft, and technology in the Upper Midwest and Plains through time. While archaeologists cannot demonstrate that the point types they have defined represent past reality in the minds of their makers, the operating assumption by most archaeologists is that they do.
A Guide to Projectile Points of Iowa, Part 2: Middle Archaic, Late Archaic, Woodland, and Late Prehistoric Points by Joseph Tiffany, photographs by Christian A. Driver