lance point

Encyclopedia Article


A lance is a long-shafted throwing or thrusting device used for hunting. It is similar to a javelin, and is sometimes referred to as a spear. The lance point can be made of stone, bone, hardened wood, or steel. Although the long shaft of the lance is typically made of wood, which biodegrades over time, the point retains its integrity as time passes, making lance points a significant find in the lithic, or stone, remains from ancient cultures around the world. In terms of archaeological research, lance points, which are similar to hand-crafted arrow heads, are like the fingerprints of a culture. Studying them can reveal where the materials to make the points came from, where the groups using the points traveled, how much time, energy, and skill the individuals crafting the points had, as well as the kind of game that was hunted.

Photo Credit: 

"A range of Clovis lance head points." by Bill Whitaker is licensed under CC BY-SA.