Artifact Spotlight — Guerrero Point

Kristi Nichols, Director of Archaeology, Collections and Historical Research
October 14, 2019
Artifact with a triangular arrow point
Approx. Date of Artifact: 1700s

This is a projectile point manufactured from local flint/chert by the Native American inhabitants of the Mission. San Antonio lays in an area that is rich with resources for creating projectile points and other stone tools. Various shapes and sizes of points have been encountered during archaeological excavations in this region that can date back to at least 10,000 years ago, if not more. The projectile points are classified by their size, shape, material, and use.

This type of triangular arrow point is identified as Guerrero, which are also referred to as Mission Points. Guerrero points are commonly found at missions, ranchos, and other sites that contain a Spanish Colonial occupation. Guerrero points are noted in south and southeast Texas, as well as into Coahuila, Mexico. This type has been recovered from the other San Antonio Missions and Rancho de Las Cabras, near modern-day Floresville. The Guerrero points are similar to the prehistoric variety called Fresno.

The tradition of creating projectile points persisted well after the arrival of the Spanish. Within the Guerrero type, much variation can be seen. Chert/flint is the most common medium used, although versions of this arrow point have been found to be made by knapping glass.