Campus Transformation

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Hidden in the Midden

Projectile PointWhile the primary focus of the archaeology currently underway at the Rowan College at Burlington campus has been the 18th-century Borton/Ballinger Farmstead several artifacts have come to light that are very likely not associated with this historic property or the people that lived there.  Often at 18th-century house sites we find a few Native American artifacts and this site is no different.  While searching for historic middens (dense lenses of historic refuse associated with the occupation of the house and often jam-packed with artifacts and archaeological information) we identified a jasper projectile point.  Jasper is a ferruginous (“containing iron oxides”) chert, usually pale brown in color, that outcrops in northern New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania.  It is also available in southern New Jersey in cobble form and Native Americans commonly used this type of stone to make tools like the projectile point found at Rowan.  It was likely a spear point and may also have been used as a small cutting tool.  This type of projectile point is known as a Brewerton side-notched point.  These have been found at other sites dating to approximately 4,000 to 2,000 B.C., during what is known as the Late Archaic period; a good 3,750 years before the Bortons showed up! 

You can find out more about Brewerton projectile points (and other artifacts) at the Jefferson Patterson Park and Museum website.