COPENA POINT FORMS

 

COPENA CLASSIC

Copena Classic points from Alabama and Tennessee typically have a very classic recurved blade edge and are fairly large.

Copena Classic points from northwestern Georgia are generally much smaller than other classic forms while retaining the classic recurved blade edge.

Classic Copena points from Florida are often more crude than their northern counterparts.

NAME: William S. Webb and David DeJarnette first illustrated these points naming them Copena after the Hopewellian related Copena culture that spread across portions of Alabama, Mississippi, and Tennessee. The name is a combination of two words, copper and galena; the two metallic materials often found in Copena burials.

AGE: The Copena Classic form is believed to be a Woodland related type and is often found in Copena burials; however it has also been recovered from Late Archaic sites in Tennessee.  These points were recovered from the Woodland levels of the Flint Creek Rock Shelter site and the Flint River Mound site in Madison County, Alabama.  Cambron suggests that the type dates from 500 B.C to A.D.

DESCRIPTION: James Cambron described the Copena Classic point as a medium to large, trianguloid point with recurvate edges.  Most Alabama and Tennessee examples can average 80mm or more in length and with the widest point of the blade (the central portion) equal to the width of the base at about 22mm. The recurved blade is formed with broad, shallow, random or collateral flaking, often resulting in a low median ridge along the center of the blade.  The edges are finely retouched with pressure flaking.  The distal end is usually acuminate and the basal edge is expanding from the hafting area.  The basal edge is flat and thinned, often with light smoothing along both the basal edge and hafting area.

DISTRIBUTION: Classic Copena points seem to range from northern Alabama and Georgia into Tennessee.  Their occurrence in Florida is limited to areas of trade with the northern Copena sites.

 

COPENA TRIANGULAR

Name: William S. Webb and David DeJarnette first illustrated these points naming them Copena after the Hopewellian related Copena culture that spread across portions of Alabama, Mississippi, and Tennessee. Cambron and Hulse later added the Triangular name to distinguish it from the recurved Copena point of Alabama.

 

Age: Copena Triangular points date to the Early and Middle Woodland periods between 2600 and 1800 BP. John Whatley noted the research of Jerald Ledbetter at the Pumpkin Pie site in Polk County where a Copena Triangular point was recovered from a feature containing Coosa notched points and fabric marked pottery that dated to 2520 BP.[1]

 

Description: The Copena Triangular is a medium to large sized blade measuring between 1.25 and 3 inches in length. The blade edges are straight to slightly excurvate with an acute distal end. The cross-section is lenticular and the basal edge is straight (top row) to slightly incurvate (bottom center and right).  The incurvate-base form is often referred to as a "Copena Auriculate" point. The excurvate form (left bottom) is often referred to as a "Copena Round Base. Rejuvenation typically occurs along the distal end resulting in a shortened length. As this continues to exhaustion, the blade can appear almost triangular.  Examples made from quartz from the Piedmont area (bottom right) can be much more crude and thicker than those made of chert.  Examples from Florida (Swift Creek site 8LE148 top right) were straight-sided and resharpened from the distal end until the blade became triangular.

 

Distribution: Copena Triangular blades seem to be closely related to Early and Middle Woodland sites in northwestern Georgia.

 Copena Point Map

 


[1]Whatley, John S., An Overview of Georgia Projectile Points And Selected Cutting Tools, Early Georgia, Vol. 30, No. 1, The Society for Georgia Archaeology. April, 2002, p.55-56