Oct 17, 2011
Oct 17, 2011

Spear Thrower

Spear Thrower

200 BC-AD 200

Bone, hematite, cotton thread, sinew

Overall: 5.8 x 2 cm (2 5/16 x 13/16 in.)

The Norweb Collection 1940.507


Did you know?

Spear throwers, also called atlatls, use leverage to propel a spear faster and farther through the air.


Spear throwers improve a spear's range and thrust. The spear was placed against the stone pivot and hurled using the thumb rest, carved as a figure with a skeletal chest, back-bent head, and a severed human head at its rear. This figure, frequent in art, is not well understood, but its appearance here suggests a connection to death. The shaft's carving makes clever use of the bone's marrow cavity.

See also
AA - Andes
Art of the Americas
Type of artwork: 
Arms and Armor
Credit line: 
The Norweb Collection

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