This slate Adena Stemmed point is from Vigo County, Indiana. Adena points are usually made from chert, so this example is very unusual. Adena points date to the Adena culture, Early Woodland period in Ohio and Indiana, ca. 2100-2500 BP.
This Adena Stemmed point is unusual because it is made from a flake of banded slate. The flake blank was flat in profile with multidirectional flake scars on the dorsal surface, similar to a biface thinning flake. It was presumably a waste flake from making a slate object. The flake was modified by non-invasive bifacial percussion flaking to shape the margins and create the stem. The point was then ground on both faces which partly eliminated some of the percussion scars. This process was very different to that seen on chert versions of this point style, which were made by bifacial percussion thinning followed by non-invasive pressure flaking. Slate is not suitable for the sort of flaking strategies applied to chert.
The Early Woodland period of eastern North America saw an intensification of plant domestication activities that began in the preceding Late Archaic period, starting by 5000 BP, and culminated in the arrival of maize into the region at about 2200 BP. The changes brought about by this change in subsistence were profound and resulted in the development of highly complex agricultural societies. Pottery-making became widespread, permanent villages were common, and ceremonial complexes developed with the construction of conical-shaped mounds. People were buried in these mounds along with copper artefacts, leaf-shaped bifaces, and art objects made from mica, hematite, shell, and banded slate. Utilitarian tools included the stemmed points of the Dickson family, including Gary, Adena, Waubesa, Little Bear Creek, and Cypress.