What's an atlatl?

Eric Rugg works for the U.S. Army Test and Evaluation Command in Alexandria Virginia. His job is to assure that weapons developed for the military are–to quote the command’s mission statement–“lethal, survivable and sustainable.”

But he also has a hobby in which he tests and evaluates Stone Age weapons, including the atlatl.

Atlatl was the Central American Mayan name for “throwing stick,” an arm’s-length piece of wood on which is mounted a slim spear-like shaft called a “dart.” The stick itself is not thrown, only the dart. With a wrist-snapping arm motion, the atlatl-user propels the dart toward the target.

Rugg is a modern atlatl designer and maker. You can read more on this story and watch a video of Rugg using the weapon.

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0 Responses to What's an atlatl?

  1. Eugene says:

    I have a friend who makes atlatls as well as arrowheads etc. We made some darts/spears in the back yard of a house I used to live in and spent part of an afternoon throwing them around. You get a lot of distance with the atlatl.

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