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Aztec Warfare: Imperial Expansion and Political Control

TitleAztec Warfare: Imperial Expansion and Political Control
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication1988
AuthorsHASSIG, R.
CityNorman, Oklahoma
PublisherUniversity of Oklahoma Press
Number of Pages424
Publication LanguageEnglish
ISBN Number978-0806127736

J. Whittaker: Compiled from various sources. Atlatl predates Aztecs, although some myth claims they invented it, or credits god Opochtli. Surviving examples often ornate, perhaps for ceremonial occasions, ca. 2 feet long with hook and groove. Grips with loops, holes, or pegs. [Poor photo shows elaborate atlatl with apparently simple grip; codex drawing shows peg grips on atlatls used against Spanish] Darts made of oak and fletched, a variety of points used. Shown in art carried in hand, not quiver. Spanish sources say could penetrate armour. Suggests range over 55 meters, 60% more thrust than unaided spear [but all this is from old experiments of Browne, Howard, Peets]. Bows and slings also used in warfare.
Macuahuitl (obsidian edged wooden sword) also described, none survive, but 19th C illustration of one in Madrid armory does, and lots of contemporary illustrations.
Atlatl probably used as armies closed for hand to hand combat, after bow and sling barrage.