MacCorkle Projectile Point
MacCorkle Projectile Point
  • Artifact Number – #98378
  • Material – Projectile Point: Rhyolite
  • Place of Origin – North America
  • Date – 6900-6700 BCE
  • Context – Topsoil
  • Location – Collections
  • Category – Virginia Indian

This incomplete MacCorkle projectile point is the only bifurcated point currently in the Jamestown Rediscovery collection. Bifurcation means that the base of this point is split into two parts. This point type is also characterized by having been flaked at both corners and the center – see the deep basal, or bottom notch. MacCorkle points are also defined by the lobed stem, concave base, and the triangular, serrated blade with vaguely corner-notched shoulders. While MacCorkle points were made out of a variety of stone types, banded rhyolite – a metavolcanic stone, as seen here – is common. Rhyolite is not a local stone, so either the projectile point or the core material had to have been brought in from elsewhere.

MacCorkle points date to the Early Archaic period (6900-6700 BCE), making this point one of the oldest artifacts in the collection! This point type is the earliest of a continuum of bifurcated points attributed to the Archaic time period (followed by St. Albans and LeCroy types, which are not present in the Jamestown collection). This type of point was originally recovered from the St. Albans Site in West Virginia in 1971. As is the case with the majority of projectile points recovered at Jamestown, this artifact is from a disturbed context. However, its recovery on the site highlights that the island was used by Virginia Indians for a long time before it became known as Jamestown Island.