How to make and use the Atlatl: ancient weapons of the Ice Age hunters

Author(s): Roderick D Laird

Year: 1984


J. Whittaker: Laird is school teacher, amateur arch, participant in World Open Atlatl Contest since beginning. Prefers pronunciation at-latl but unable to find evidence. Aztec origins [from Nuttall – throughout he mentions “authorities” without citations]. Mechanics discussed, unclear. Some sketchy archaeology and designs. How to make section. Recommends wooden spears 6-7’ long. Optional weights serve as counterbalance to spear. Photos of manufacture, some design tips, including a forked antler proximal spear rest. How to throw section with photos, including clear sequence showing overhead flip motion and dart flex. World Open contest described. Winners 1981-1984 include Laird, B. Bradley, L. Kinsella. [notable that one of Laird’s 6th graders beat adults1984 – skills not much developed then].

[Nice enthusiastic intro for kids and novices, 50 page booklet, now seems rather primitive and could use more scholarly info.]

Cite this Record

How to make and use the Atlatl: ancient weapons of the Ice Age hunters. Roderick D Laird. Saratoga Museum Papers. Saratoga, NY: Saratoga Historical and Cultural Association Atlatl press. 1984 ( tDAR id: 423123)

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections


Atlatl Hunting Weapon

Temporal Keywords

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): EXARC Experimental Archaeology Collection Manager

Record Identifiers

ExArc Id(s): 9913


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