Reinventing the atlatl
J. Whittaker: Experiments with lots of variables [controlled and un]: fletched and unfletched darts, lengths 127-232 cm, compound elderberry shaft with hardwood foreshaft, lead points, 10 atlatls of different lengths, some modeled after several ethnographic and archaeological examples, stone weights 27-94 grams, mostly at balance point of atlatl. [All atlatls apparently not flexible.]
Lots of practice over 5 months, 10-60 meters.
High speed filming of throwing action, drawing presented.
Gauge for relative force [not calibrated].
Results: Dart construction more important in distance than length or form of atlatl. Any atlatl >30 cm worked, but not well if <2/3 dart length. Accurate, with practice, to 30 m. Dart flex important [but why is not discussed]. Dart released when atlatl is vertical, contra Howard 1974. Velocity ca 40 m/sec. Weights do not affect distance, or improve control or balance, and don't add either to mass of spear or to its velocity, so they do not add force.
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Cite this Record
Reinventing the atlatl. Arthur Robert Tolley, Jack Barnes. Journal of the Steward Anthropological Society. 10 (2): 161-180. 1979 ( tDAR id: 423126)
min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;
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ExArc Id(s): 9916
Rights & Attribution: The information in this record was originally compiled by Dr. Roeland Paardekooper, EXARC Director.