Nakonechny’s (1998) thesis represents the fourth classification of artifacts from Wexpusnime. Data associated with the earliest two original classifications were lost well before the late 1990s due to technological obsolescence of the recording system used. Classification and curatorial work by Collins and Andrefsky (1995) prepared the collection for efficient future analysis and description. The most recent and detailed classification scheme employs three levels of analysis.
The artifact categories are stone tools, bone tools, antler tools, organics, and ‘other,’ which includes mineral pigments, ceramics, and historic materials.
The first level of classification within a category is artifact class. Items of similar form and shared function belong to the same class. Examples of artifact classes are projectile points, scrapers, and awls.
The second level is type designation, which is based on major form and size differences within each artifact class. Examples of type designation are side- or corner-notched projectile points.
The third level consists of type variation, which is based on secondary characteristics. Examples of type variation are would include shape of the projectile point base and orientation of the artifact’s margin.
- There are 317 classifiable projectile points and 311 projectile point fragments in 8 groups. Most points are base-notched, corner-notched and small side-notched. Additional types include large side-notched, stemmed, side-and-base-notched, small irregular, and lanceolate points.
- Some older varieties may have been “recycled” – i.e. collected from older sites.
- Base-notched, corner-notched and small side-notched points are made of cryptocrystalline silicates (CCS). These varieties, especially corner-notched, are the standard, non-intrusive, late prehistoric points.
- Obsidian and basalt are only found among corner-notched points.
- Stemmed points are the most diverse type, with five varieties. These include intrusive Cascade points (made of basalt with calcareous residue – as noted by Leonhardy et al. (1971). Lanceolates points may be intrusive.
- Ninety-seven percent of all points are CCS, especially chalcedony, jasper, and opal. All are locally available within about 20 miles. Two percent are basalt, also probably local. One percent are obsidian. The obsidian may have been obtained as raw material from eastern Oregon or western Idaho, but was possibly recycled from other sites. There are only two obsidian points.
- There is no hafting residue visible on any points.
- Points at Wexpusnime are smaller (i.e. shorter and narrower) and made with finer retouch than points at Wawawai (45WT39); neck widths are 3-8 mm vs. 10-15 mm for darts; points larger than 8 mm are 1) intrusives, 2) lanceolates.
- The small size is indicative of bow and arrow technology in the Late Harder Phase. See Ames et al. 2010 for another interpretation.