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Serrated Triangular Arrow Points from Mission Santa Clara: Evidence of Colonial-Period Innovation and Regional Connections
California Archaeology  (IF),  Pub Date : 2021-08-09, DOI: 10.1080/1947461x.2021.1933008


This article considers a particular form of small, intricately serrated arrow points from central California. Several examples of this point were recovered during recent archaeological mitigation work at Mission Santa Clara de Asís (CA-SCL-30/H), where researchers have referred to them as Mission Santa Clara Serrated (MSCLS) points. Subsequent research indicates that similar points were recovered decades earlier from sites in the Central Valley and Sierra Nevada foothills, but until now had not been formally considered within existing projectile point typologies or regional culture history. We review the known examples of these points, including their physical attributes, geographic distribution, temporal placement, and similarities to previously described serrate Desert Side-Notched points. Our analysis suggests that the MSCLS point style was developed during the colonial period and spread throughout the region via Native Californians’ participation in and rejection of the Franciscan mission system.