Native flintknappers made these projectile points, known as Madison points, from the Late Woodland to Mississippian periods (c. AD 800–1600). Farm boys collected the examples shown here in LaSalle County in north central Illinois in the late 1800s. These points form part of the Museum’s sizeable Ajemian Collection of Native American lithic artifacts (see also Day 66 and Day 112). Although they are often referred to as “bird points,” hunters used these small triangular arrow points to procure deer and other large mammals. This was a popular and long-lived point type. Indeed, flintknappers across all of Eastern North America made Madison points in a range of locally available stone.
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.