Explanations for beveled blade edges on projectile points have been debated in North America archaeology since the first systematic description of lithic assemblages in the nineteenth century. Debate has centered around two opposing perspectives. One views beveled edges as features of projectile points that cause them to spin during flight. The other views beveling as a product of edge resharpening that is done unifacially to conserve scarce resources. Here we use a fluid-dynamics model to simulate the effect beveling has on projectiles. Expectations derived from this modeling are evaluated using wind-tunnel experiments. Our findings indicate that beveling produces in-flight rotation that serves as a means of increasing accuracy in relatively low-velocity flight paths..
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Lipo, C. P.; Dunnell, R. C.; O'Brien, Michael J.; Harper, V.; and Dudgeon, J., "Beveled Projectile Points and Ballistics Technology" (2012). History Faculty Publications. 16.