The Gary Contracting Stem projectile points shown here are a small part of the Museum’s Ajemian Collection. In the mid to late 1800s, W.H. Chapman and his boyhood friends collected more than a thousand archaeological artifacts on their family farms in Freedom Township, La Salle County, in north central Illinois. Dr. Paul E. Greeley, a graduate of the U-M Medical School, acquired Chapman’s collection, and Greeley’s daughter, Nancy Ajemian, donated it to the Museum. While we lack precise provenience information for these artifacts, the many complete points contribute to studies of changing lithic technologies, raw materials, styles, and function. Gary Contracting Stem points date from c. 1500 BC to AD 100 and occur from Texas to Illinois. Their widespread distribution provides insights into the broad social and technological networks of their makers.
In honor of the University of Michigan’s 2017 bicentennial, we are celebrating the remarkable archaeological and ethnographic collections and rich legacy of research and teaching at the Museum of Anthropological Archaeology by posting one entry a day for 200 days. The entries will highlight objects from the collections, museum personalities, and UMMAA expeditions. The Kelsey Museum of Archaeology is also posting each day for 200 days on Twitter and Facebook (follow along at #KMA200). After the last post, an exhibition on two centuries of archaeology at U-M opens at the Kelsey. Visit the exhibit—a joint project of the UMMAA and the Kelsey—from October 18, 2017 to May 27, 2018.