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  • Madison

    When the Europeans arrived in the Americas, the most widespread point form in the eastern United States were narrow isosceles triangles.
    Here is Ritchie's description:
    We read:
    "This point type was described by Scully as the Mississippi Triangular Point, later changed by him to the Madison Point (Scully, 1951, p. 14. The copy received from him contains the penciled nominal revision). He gives the association as "Middle Mississippi," and the distribution as "Middle and Upper Mississippi sites in Illinois, Wisconsin and Missouri."
    Kneberg refers to a very similar point as the "Late Mississippi Triangular," but confines it to a form with "straight basal edge" (Kneberg, 1956, p. 24). She relates it to "most of the late Mississippi cultures in Tennessee," including the historic Cherokee, of the period of approximately A.D. 1300-1800. Her "Hamilton Incurvate" type, assigned to several cultures of the Late Woodland period, dating between c. A.D. 500-1000, exhibits the incurvate edges and base found on some of the points included in Scully's description as variants of the Madison type. (Kneberg, ibid.)
    Suhm, Krieger and Jelks (1954, pp. 504, 498, 506) have defined various triangular types--the Maud, Fresno and Starr--which have features overlapping with the Madison type. These belong to assemblages which flourished during the latter half of the Christian era, and included pottery and agriculture. The New York specimens herein described have some definite similarities to all of these possibly interrelated types. Since, however, the variations noted in our sample are readily accommodated within the compass of Scully's Madison type this name has been applied."
    Description from Maryland typology guide:

    And from lithics-net:

    The regionalization of American prehistory is such that there is no committee deciding if a point type name from a Mississippian era culture in Illinois should or should not be applied to other Late Woodland/Historic small triangles. Strictly speaking, these triangles are narrow isosceles; in Ritchie's definition, any small triangle with a straight base less then 3/4" in diameter can be called a Madison, but purists will disagree with that liberty.
    The following examples are all from the Dann Site, a Seneca Iroquois village site in Lima County, NY, which was occupied from c. 1655-1680. Most are narrow isosceles, a couple are not. All are Contact era triangles, last of the stone projectile points, and found with brass/copper triangles which replaced them.

    Quartz Triangle from coastal Rhode Island that fits within Ritchie's broader description of Madison points:
    Last edited by CMD; 11-09-2019, 04:05 PM.
    Rhode Island