|Figure One - How I found the projectile point tip in a dry streambed on April 19, 2018.|
Figure Three - Is it an Allen, Andersen or Fredrick? Or are
all three variants of each other?
Figure Four - Perry Andersen collecting artifacts in a large
sand dune blowout in northeastern Colorado.
Note the level of deflation.
Under law, homesteaders in Yuma and other counties had to cultivate the land. A long, enduring drought came along, followed by strong winds, and the Dust Bowl was born. The soil in Yuma County ended up in neighboring states, exposing deeply buried layers of soil associated with the time of the Paleoindians. Percy and Harold Andersen found and documented many Paleoindian and Early Archaic artifacts in these sand dune blowouts. At that time, most Paleoindian projectile points were classified into a broad category called Yuma points. Over time, archaeologists reclassified the different Paleoindian projectile points into types reflecting where they were first documented in archaeological sites. For example, at one time, Scottsbluff, Clovis, Eden, Allen, Frederick, Hell Gap, Eden, Plainview, Goshen, etc. were all considered Yuma points.
There was one type of Yuma projectile point found by the Andersen family that did not get reclassified into a new or existing projectile point type. These points ended up being called Andersen points by collectors. This projectile point was slim, triangular, and mostly diagonally flaked. It wasn’t quite an Allen and it wasn't quite a Frederick or a Plainview, so collectors dubbed it the Andersen point, and collectors still do.
Andersen as a projectile point type. As a test, I randomly selected five well-known, high plains archaeology books out of my library and checked whether or not the professional archaeologists who wrote the books mentioned Andersen points. I found nary a word about the Andersen projectile point type. I do understand why. I am certainly not convinced that Andersen points require their own projectile point type, I could see them fitting in with either Allen or Frederick. However, it is nice that the Andersen family was recognized for their significant contribution to high plains archaeology.
Figure Six - Cream de la cream, the original 'Slim Arrow' and the
type point for the Andersen projectile point type. Notch in base
intentionally burinated. Courtesy UNSM.
I am calling the point I found on April 19, 2018 an Andersen point, although it could very well be an Allen point, or a Frederick point, or even an Eden point. This just shows you, Paleoindian projectile point typology is as much an art as it is a science.