These projectile points are part of a collection of archaeological artifacts that was made by W.H. Chapman, of Freedom Township, LaSalle County, Illinois (see also Day 112). He collected these and other points on his and neighbors’ farms. In 1935, as Dr. W.E. Chapman was settling his deceased father’s estate, he wrote a summary of the collection, describing how his father and other boys had collected artifacts in farm fields after the spring rains. The document also provides insights into the impact of changing farming technologies on archaeological preservation, observing that once wheeled discs and deep (coulter) plows were introduced, “many arrows were found broken or chipped.” Dr. Paul E. Greeley, a graduate of the U-M Medical School, acquired the collection from Chapman's estate, and his daughter donated it to the Museum after his death. The collection consists of more than 1000 artifacts. The projectile points shown here are Merom Stemmed and Trimble point types, belonging to the Late Archaic Riverton Tradition. These types are broadly defined by triangular blades with short stems that expand at the base.
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.