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The Atlatl (Spear Thrower)

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  • The Atlatl (Spear Thrower)

    The Atlatl

    For a summary of what the atlatl (usually spelled as a single word, but sometimes as atl-atl and other variants) is and how it was used, the Wiki page is a good starting point:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atlatl


    Distribution of the Atlatl in North America

    There’s a very cool interactive Google-Map here that gives brief details of sites where atlatl evidence has been found in North America, Canada and the top end of South America:

    http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?ie=UT...92193be41c0a2e
    I keep six honest serving-men (they taught me all I knew); Their names are What and Why and When and How and Where and Who.

  • #2
    The Atlatl Hook and Weight
    David Lutz Collection, Newburgh, Indiana

    Click image for larger version

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    The atlatl hook and weight combination is not only a fascinating insight into the hunting technique that Native Americans used in the spear thrower, but also acts as a temporal maker. Webb (1939) first surmised from finds at Chiggerville, that the combination of hook and weight comprised an atlatl or spear thrower system. Through extensive research, Lutz (2000) has shown that atlatl hooks, like bannerstones, experienced stylistic changes through time. The earliest atlatl hook and weight system can be traced back to approximately 6500 B.P. There were four recognizable forms of the atlatl hook including "Eva", "Black Earth", "Indian Knoll", and "Slotted" (Lutz 2000).

    The atlatl system remained in use until the Woodland period (Lutz 2000). Temporal sequencing of these different types has proved difficult due to the lack of suitable preservation for organic remains such as antler. Because of this, well documented examples of atlatl hook and weight combinations are scarce and function as valuable temporal markers.

    This atlatl hook and weight set was found at the Crib Mound, Spencer County, Indiana, by Don Champion in the 1960's.


    Duplicated from the “Resources” section of arrowheads.com and reproduced with permission.
    I keep six honest serving-men (they taught me all I knew); Their names are What and Why and When and How and Where and Who.

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