Atlatls Gone Wild

For the past twenty or more years the technology of the spear-thrower has become more and more well-known as a sport.  Popularly called an atlatl in the Americas as that was the name the Nahuatl-speaking Aztecs gave it.  This is a world-wide technology and arguably one of the greatest technological leaps for early modern humans.  I feel fortunate to have lived through this increasing popularity and to see the growth of the sport.

Have a look at some remarkable throwers recreating an ancient training game reported to be from South America.

For a more European take on the subject, check out speerschleuders at this fine German website.  Finally, possibly the oldest image of a spear thrower in action from Lascaux Cave.

The bird on a stick in the lower left is believed to be an animal effigy spear thrower widely known in the region from the later Pleistocene.
The bird on a stick in the lower left is believed to be an animal effigy spear thrower widely known in the region from the later Pleistocene.

 

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