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  • Maine Maritime Archaic Point

    Maine Maritime Archaic Point
    A Point From Down East
    Posted by [CMD]:


    This point was found on the St. Croix River, in Calais, Maine. On the section of the river that forms the boundary between the state of Maine/USA and New Brunswick, Canada. Calais is only about 30 miles upriver from West Quoddy Head, the easternmost point in the lower 48, on the Bay of Fundy, Atlantic Ocean. About as far east as one can find a point in the US. Not a personal find.

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    The style of the point is a form associated with the Maritime Archaic Complex (C.7500-3500 bp), which flourished in Atlantic Canada and north coastal Maine. As implied by the name, these people focused on marine resources. They must have had vessels capable in deep sea fishing, as evidenced by the remains of swordfish at their campsites. To collectors, their most distinctive artifact class was ground slate weapons, in forms described in the literature as points, knives, swords, bayonets, etc. This link has a nice synopsis of this Late Archaic "Down East" complex, with nice photos to enlarge, including some nice ground slate projectiles. Decades ago, some scholars believe there had existed a so-called "circumpolar culture" in the past as similar technology and tools exist elsewhere, among Eskimo and European Artic groups, for example. I think today scholars regard it as independent invention.

    www.therooms.ca/museum/mnotes12.asp
    (Link no longer works)

    Not sure of the material. The Maritime Archaic had a strong preferance for Ramah Chert from northern Labrador, but this is not Ramah Chert.

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    An old illustration of ground slate points from Maine.

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    Posted by [rmartin]:
    Super point Charlie! Love the history lesson too. Thanks for sharing.


    Posted by [gregszybala]:
    Thanks Charlie, a whole culture that I had no idea existed! Good website as well (bookmarked!) and can you imagine having slate points like those?!!!!!!
    Going to do more reading on this!


    Posted by [CMD]:
    rmartin wrote:
    Super point Charlie! Love the history lesson too. Thanks for sharing.

    Thanks, Ray. One of my favorites it is, in part because it's an interesting culture that one doesn't see artifacts from very often.


    Posted by [Weepingeyegorget]:
    very cool.. and fine point!


    Posted by [CMD]:
    gregszybala wrote:
    Thanks Charlie, a whole culture that I had no idea existed! Good website as well (bookmarked!) and can you imagine having slate points like those?!!!!!!
    Going to do more reading on this!

    Those slate points can be over a foot, Greg. I can't imagine that. Lot of antiquarian era "romance" associated with the culture, Greg. Back in the day they were referred to as the "Lost Red Paint People" because of their use of red ochre in burials. NOVA produced a segment years ago called "Secrets of the Lost Red Paint People" which delved into the similarities of ground slate technology within the circumpolar region and gave credence to the notion of shared ideas and tool technology in the far north, but, again, I think most prefer independent invention. Fascinating subject, though.

    Technically, the Maritime Archaic doesn't show up as a full blown lifestyle south of Maine. But their artifacts do. Ground slate points have been found on Late Archaic sites and surface finds in all the New England states, New York, and probably elsewhere. Either trade in goods or technology to these relatively nearby areas I guess. I believe one of their burial mounds in Labrador is dated 7500 years old and at the time considered the oldest such mound in the Americas', might still be.

    Some time ago, Roger recommended this Canadian blog as one of his favorites. The blogger often writes on the subject.

    http://elfshotgallery.blogspot.co.uk...te-lances.html

    And speaking of the "red paint people', aka the Maritime Archaic, chapter 3 at this link, Moorehead Burial Tradition, looks like a good read, just stumbled across it, relevant chapter is free.....

    http://www.grin.com/en/e-book/149506/a-shroud-of-ochre


    Posted by [gregszybala]:
    Thanks Charlie!


    Posted by [wildo420]:
    Charlie your well versed in maine prehistory I love the photo of that point I have yet to find any of the slate stuff there out there but most of that stuff you wont see because its in there burial mounds I have a friend who has found some slate he also has 7 gouges and many plummets so they are there to be found just not by me haha :laugh:


    Posted by [Pinetree1]:
    Awesome point! Thanks for the info.


    Posted by [CMD]:
    wildo420 wrote:
    Charlie your well versed in maine prehistory I love the photo of that point I have yet to find any of the slate stuff there out there but most of that stuff you wont see because its in there burial mounds I have a friend who has found some slate he also has 7 gouges and many plummets so they are there to be found just not by me haha.

    Boy, yeah Maine is known for beautiful gouges and adzes, and elaborate plummets as well. Once in awhile a Maritime Archaic slate point shows up in southern New England, but I've never found anything like that either. The Maritime Archaic were really skilled deep sea fishermen as well, cool part of the country for artifact hunting!
    I keep six honest serving-men (they taught me all I knew); Their names are What and Why and When and How and Where and Who.

  • #2
    Posted by [wildo420]:
    big ass needle in a hay stack is what we got up here haha but yea there is some really aawesome pieces to found up here but finding them now that's gonna take some skill and a lot of luck and a lot of time wich the latter is what I don't have enough of I work too much and with the family I just don't have the time if I get 2 or 3 hrs a week im doing good but every once in awhile I find something special like this tiny thumbnail scraper don't ask how I saw the thing its tiny and ive never seen the material before any ideas

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    I keep six honest serving-men (they taught me all I knew); Their names are What and Why and When and How and Where and Who.

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