Virginia State Seal

Virginia Department of Historic Resources


Guilford concave base: rhyolite, rhyolite, tuff, quartz

Guilford straight base: chert, quartzite, quartz, quartzite, rhyolite, quartz.

Guilford round base: tuff, quartz, rhyolite, rhyolite, quartzite.

Guilford shoulder: quartzite, tuff, tuff, tuff, rhyolite.

Type Lanceolate Middle-Archaic

Defining Attributes
The Guilford point has a long, slender, but thick blade with a straight, rounded or concave base.

The Guilford point dates to the Middle Archaic period, 4200 to 3500 BCE. Coe (1964) dates this point to around 4000 BCE based on radiocarbon dates obtained from the Gaston Site in North Carolina.


  • Blade: The blade is long and narrow with slightly rounded and smoothly contoured sides. The blade is usually thick but symmetrically and carefully chipped.
  • Base: The base may be concave, rounded or straight. Most examples have a precisely shaped concave or rounded base; straight bases are rare.
  • Size: Length ranges from 50 to 120 mm with an average of 90 mm. Width ranges from 20 to 35 mm with an average of 30 mm. Thickness ranges from 5 to 12 mm.
  • Technique of manufacture: Coe (1964) offers a lengthy discussion on the manufacture of Guilford points based on a number of discarded and partly finished specimens recovered from the Doerschuk Site in the Piedmont of North Carolina. The first step involved striking a long, thin flake from a prepared flat platform. The second step consisted of roughly shaping the point by direct percussion. This was done on one edge at a time for the full length of the specimen. The base, however, was shaped before starting down the final edge. The third step consisted of retouching the edges by pressure flaking. This resulted in general reduction in width, but not in thickness. The fourth and final step was the grinding of the basal edges of the points.

The base of the Guilford may be flat, rounded, or concave. The shouldered form is considerable later and may date as late as 3000 BCE, based on a radiocarbon date from Cactus Hill, Virginia (McAvoy & McAvoy 1997).

Defined in Literature
Coe (1964) notes that the Guilford point type has been found in great numbers in the South Appalachian area, but has hardly been mentioned in the literature. Coe was the first to publish a brief description of the Guilford type in 1952. Additionally, the Guilford type is discussed by Coe in 1964 based on points recovered from the Doerschuk Site and the Gaston Site in the Piedmont of North Carolina.