The arrow

Author(s): Frank Hamilton Cushing

Year: 1895


J. Whittaker: [Fascinating early article by one of the first experimental archaeologists.] Arrow was invented before bow.

Study specific for general laws of man’s development. Good quotes on above, personal and individual nature of anthro, philosophy of study and need for replication. His discovery of arrowmaking. Arrows described (SW example). "Knapping" direct, indirect, pressure described. Arrow making includes straight and smooth w/stone, grooved grinder for foreshafts, wrenches. [Wild] speculations on human and arrow beginnings. Proposes development of spear thrower through some weakly documented [and often dubious] forms of spear sling, spear palm, etc. short throwers with rope for end. Springy atlatl of cliff dwellers claims his works, and that he experimented with Maya forms too. Reconstructs a stringed “spear crook or flinging bow" [combination atlatl and bow] from Zuni war paho, and "bow crotch" [an even more absurd idea], from which derives reflex bow. [I have tried a spear crook made by Richard Lyons - it does work, poorly, as a hooked atlatl, not with springing action. Cushing’s scheme is an attempt to develop an evolutionary sequence for bows, based on incorrect notion of springing action of atlatls.]

Cite this Record

The arrow. Frank Hamilton Cushing. American Anthropologist. 8 (4): 307-349. 1895 ( tDAR id: 415424)

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections


Atlatl bow & arrow

Temporal Keywords
Mesolithic Neolithic Palaeolithic

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): EXARC Experimental Archaeology Collection Manager

Record Identifiers

ExArc Id(s): 1675


Rights & Attribution: The information in this record was originally compiled by Dr. Roeland Paardekooper, EXARC Director.