Projectile Dysfunction

Author(s): David Howe

Year: 2016


There is an undeniable trend of a gradual decrease in projectile point size over time. About 1000 years ago, these points significantly change in size. Most archaeologists today posit that this sudden change has to do with the invention or adoption of the bow and arrow; however without a large sample of preserved wooden bows, arrows, or darts, there is no way to say for certain that this notion is correct. Via a controlled archery experiment, projectile point performance and function will be tested in order to determine if there is a variable threshold at which large projectile points are no longer functional when fired from a bow, or small projectile points are no longer functional when thrown from an atlatl. Or simply: is there a specific point size or weight that can tell us the difference between these point types? Through use of a crossbow, arrows, high-speed cameras, and ballistics gel targets, these performance characteristics were tested.

Cite this Record

Projectile Dysfunction. David Howe. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 405290)

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Spatial Coverage

min long: -113.95; min lat: 30.751 ; max long: -97.163; max lat: 48.865 ;