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This page is meant to provide typical jargon used in identifying, defining, and describing projectile points. It is based on information collated from multiple glossaries for general understanding of the selected term. Examples of certain features found in the Bullen Projectile Point Type Collection have links when available.

Projectile Points

Spearheads versus Arrowheads – projectile points vary in size and overall morphology (shape). Larger, heavier projectile points are commonly referred to as spears or darts (e.g., Clovis, Savannah River, Simpson, Bolen, Alachua), while smaller, lighter projectile points are commonly called arrowheads or arrow points (e.g., Pinellas, Tampa, Itchetucknee) and are typically associated with use on a bow type shaft. Typically, these are attached (hafted) to a shaft and used for propulsion or thrusting (e.g., spear, dart, arrow). Prehistoric projectile points in the southeastern U.S. were predominantly made from stone, bone, or ivory. Metal was also used in the historic period in North America.

Explore definitions of projectile point features below.