Pieces of arrowheads on a black background with a metric measurement scale on the lefthand side
Surface artifacts

Texas A&M University


The site has been dated by collecting charcoal from the remains of two hearths that were uncovered during excavation. The hearths appeared as buried concentrations of burnt animal bone, charcoal, and small stone flakes in dark patches of sediment.

Using radiocarbon techniques, the charcoal turned out to date to at least 12,000 years ago. The artifacts found within and near the hearths can be associated with these dates. They include some of the fluted points and bifaces collected at the site. The bones are highly fragmented but appear to represent caribou or a similar-sized ungulate.

Nearly 5,000 articles have been collected from the site, including thousands of animal bone fragments, charcoal, bifacial stone tools, microblades, bladelets, and pieces of debitage. Most important were six fragments of fluted points, a style of spearpoint commonly produced during the late Ice Age in other areas of North America.

Fluted points are specialized spearpoints that were likely hafted to the tip of spear shafts rather than arrows. They were created through careful shaping of a large piece of stone into a long, symmetrical form with a pointed tip and a concave base. To prepare the artifact for hafting to a shaft, long narrow "channel" flakes were removed from the base to create a "flute" down the midline of each face of the point. Several dozen channel flakes have been found among the Serpentine Hot Springs artifacts.

Last updated: April 14, 2015

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