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The Hi-lo Point

by Patrick L. Mooney, Peru, Indiana

Originally Published in the Central States Archaeological Journal, Vol.56, No.4, pg.200

Originally Published in the Central States Archaeological Journal, Vol.57, No.2, pg.70


The Hi-lo Point is a late Paleo Early Archa­ic style common to the Great Lakes area. It was named by James Fitting from points found at the Hi-lo Gun Club Site in Ionia County, Michigan.

The point is lanceolate in form with a base that may be either thinned for even fluted. Specific radio-carbon dates have not been established, but they seem to correlate with the Dalton horizon of 8500-8000 BC. Perino suggests the point was still being manufactured as late as 6000 BC, but this date has not received much support from other au­thors.

Three forms of Hi-lo points are recognized, each having heavy basal and lateral grinding. The first has parallel sides, the second triangular in shape and the third has a constricted stem and slight shoulders.

Varying degrees of re-sharpening leaves some variations to display left-hand beveling, but re-sharpening without beveling also occurs. Some variations appear to be side-notched, to have slight shoulders or have weak stems. Re-sharpening may remove these characteristics. The high degree of beveling and heavy re-sharpening suggests these were used as knives and butchering tools rather than projectile points.

They may be related to the Dalton Point, as it pos­sesses many of the same characteristics and is from the same time period. Aqua-Plano and LeRoy points are considered to be Hi-Lo points. All of these points were probably used in caribou and elk hunt­ing.

The ten Hi-Lo points pictured were found in either Miami or Cass County, Indiana. They range in size from 1 3/8 to 2 1/16 inch. The point 2nd from the right on the bottom row is a personal find of the author. It is fluted on the reverse side nearly two-thirds the length of the point. Center-top and bottom far-right would be considered pristine ex­amples of this point type. The point on the top row, 2nd from right would be considered nearly exhausted due to extensive re-sharpening.”Used by Permission of the Author”
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