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Arrowheads of the Central Great Plains: Identification and Value Guide

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 7, 2004

    Needs serious editing

    Contrary to the publishers note of 'includes geographic maps of the area', there is only one map on page 11 which pictures fully HALF of the U.S. plus southwest Canada with the only place names being the states and provinces. I think we all know that the Central Great Plains is in the middle of this area...not very useful as maps go. There is serious trouble with the listed dates. The author defines in a 'Time Chart and Age Periods' a list of terms like B.P., B.C., and KYA (thousands of years ago) then immediately lists lots of point ages incorrectly. Allen points are O.K. at 10 KYA to 6.5 KYA but what about Burroughs at 4000 to 5500 KYA (4000 thousand is a long time ago)...this is a recurring error as well as listing dates such as those for the Dalton of 9500+/-1000 (is this BP or BC?, a 2000 yr. discrepancy). Many of the photos are low enough quality that flaking patterns are indescernable although the author points out many times how important this is to point attribution. The occassional line drawings are a welcome relief. His 'Descriptions and Characteristics' for each point type in many cases don't list flaking characteristics and are extremely variable in their usefullness. Most of the points' sizes are described as 'good or great' length without an actual size listed or a scale in the picture. Those with a scale aren't even centered for easy calculation of length. Some of the 'Descriptions and Characteristics' given for a specific point type (such as the Grand on pg. 65) may include some interesting general information but fail completely to list anything about the 'descriptions and characteristics' of the particular point. It is also disconcerting to see materials used for manufacture listed under 'desriptions and characteristics' which aren't then included under the topic of 'Materials Manufactured into this Type' (which is in itself a curious way of saying 'commonly utilized lithic materials'). Some of the valuations listed may seem too high or too low or too broad a range for those who frequent auction sales and are active in point acquisition from reputable sources. Overall the book contains some interesting material and new point pictures but the quality of the effort and lack of attention by a skilled editor to correct the myriad problems leaves me with the impression of an 'amature production' on a par with the skills of my high school student's computer projects.

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