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

Author(s): Roderick D Laird

Year: 1984

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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.]

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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)


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.

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America