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Design and construction of Australian spearthrower projectiles and handthrown spears

TitleDesign and construction of Australian spearthrower projectiles and handthrown spears
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1977
AuthorsPALTER, J. L.
JournalArchaeology and Physical Anthropology in Oceania
Volume12
Issue3
Pages161-172
Place PublishedSyndney
Type of Articlearticle
Publication LanguageEnglish
ISSN Number0003-8121
Abstract

J. Whittaker: Ethnographic specimens: 33 hand-thrown and 293 spear thrower spears [unfortunately not illustrated].
Hypothesized diffusion after 10,000 bp, but thrower not used all over Australia.
Two length groups of spear thrower spears: 1) average 160 cm, 2) average 260cm. Hand-thrown spears average 267 cm.
Mass: Hand-thrown average 740 gm, thrower average 246 gm.
Decreased mass allows maximum velocity - led to composite reed spears, with hardwood points.
Balance: spear thrower spears: weight forward, 32-40% and 42-46% of length from tip, while hand-thrown spears typically 46-50%.

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