Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Mystery Points Identified  - They are Pinellas Points
Three weeks ago "What is it Wednesday" posted a request for help identifying two mystery points recently brought to our attention in Putnam County, Florida.  No one responded to the request!  However, since that time, the writer has become aware of a wonderful new resource, publicly available, to answer just such a question. 

Back in the 1960's, Dr. Ripley P. Bullen, an archaeologist and Curator of Florida Archaeology at the University of Florida's Florida State Museum, conducted a study of Florida projectile points.  He produced from this study a classification system and type collection containing 43 point types which he presented at the 1967 Annual Meeting of the Florida Anthropological Society.  In 1968, the Florida State Museum (it is now the Florida Museum of Natural History at the University of Florida) published his "Guide to the Identification of Florida Projectile Points".  The publication became a classic and so popular that Bullen revised it to include 50 point types and had it published in book form by Kendall Books in 1975. 
Revised Edition 1975
If you have access to a copy of this classic in your library, you are in-like-Flynn.   If you can't get your hands on a copy (only one is available at Amazon for $65.00), well, you could try to locate experts in the field of Florida projectile points and enlist their help.

But now, just in the last few weeks, the Florida Museum of Natural History (FLMNH) has produced a wonderful new tool to increase visual access to Bullen's type collection.  FLMNH has photographed and digitized 600 projectile points from the Bullen collection and put them on a web site entitled "The Bullen Projectile Point Type Collection".  Anyone with a computer can now access this complete digital gallery of the Bullen Type Collection. 

Images of points from the Bullen Type Collection

In addition to the 600 images covering Paleoindian to contact period points organized by type/subtype and temporal period, the web site contains a glossary of lithic terminology, composite location maps by county and additional references and links, a great resource!

Counties with Paleoindian Points

The Florida Museum of Natural History website can be accessed at the following link:

Text by Toni Wallace, FPAN-NE Regional Center
Photos (except for the 1st one) from the Florida Museum of Natural History web site.

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