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THEBES POINT

Thebes
SIZE: Length= 40-64 mm (mean of 52 mm); Width= 24-40 (32); Notch Width= 15-21 (18); Base Width= 25-35 (30); Thickness= 5-13 (9).

SHAPE: The most prominent feature of the Thebes point is the hafting area. The stem is often large and sharply flaring. Heavy basal grinding is almost always present. The base is usually convex or straight, thick, and rounded leading up to the notch. The side or corner (from reworking?) notches are usually very deep and sometimes squared, and enter at an upward diagonal and inward inclination. The blade area is large and broad on unreworked specimens, and the edge can be serrated. This area, however , is often reworked, resulting in characteristic beveled edges and a rhomboidal cross-section. Blade edges are usually straight.

FLAKING: Surface flaking is typically broad and shallow. Pressure flaking is concentrated at the blade edge and hafting area. Reworking of the Thebes point is executed by parallel pressure flaking on the blade edge on either the left or right side of both faces.

RAW MATERIAL: Points are most commonly made from local materials (50%+), with Bayport (25%), Upper Mercer (20%), and Flint Ridge (5%) also common in northwest Ohio.

DISTRIBUTION: Thebes points are found over most of the Midwest (Bechtel 1988; Justice 1987), but are relatively rare in south-western Ontario. Thebes sites tend to be concentrated to upland biotic zones such as terraces and fossil beach ridges.

AGE AND CULTURAL AFFILIATION: At present, only one site has yielded C-14 dates for Thebes points: 7750 B.C. and 6880 B.C. from the Graham Cave site. Based upon their position in stratified sites such as Graham Cave, Dillow and Duvan Rockshelters, a range of 8000-6000 B.C. has been suggested (Luchterhand 1970). In northwest Ohio a longer time range is suggested by the abundant use of Bayport chert, which is rare in Early Archaic assemblages but common in Middle Archaic ones, suggesting an end date in this region of perhaps 5000 B.C.

REMARKS: The large variation in metrics is due to extensive resharpening. Thebes-like bifaces have been found as knives, points and hafted scrapers, suggesting their use was as a specialized "heavy duty" tool, used and repaired until nothing was left.

REFERENCE: Abel, T. - 1990 Thebes Points. KEWA 90-8. ( Text of Original Publication )



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