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L’apport de la comparaison ethnographique á la connaisssance et aux tentatives de reconstitution des propulseurs paléolithiques

TitleL’apport de la comparaison ethnographique á la connaisssance et aux tentatives de reconstitution des propulseurs paléolithiques
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2000
AuthorsCATTELAIN, P.
EditorBELLIER, C., P. CATTELAIN, and M. OTTE
Book TitleLa chasse dans la Préhistoire/ Hunting in Prehistory
CityBruxelles
PublisherSocieté Royale Belge d’Anthropologie et Préhistoire
Volume111
Pages60-69
Series TitleAnthropologie et Préhistoire
Publication LanguageFrench
Abstract

J. Whittaker: [The contribution of ethnographic comparisons to the understanding and reconstruction of Paleolithic spear throwers.] Mortillet 1891 first recognition of paleo spearthrowers by analogy to Aust + AmInd. Early sources Arctic (depiction of Greenland Inuit 1577), Mexican (codices, art, chroniclers), and Australian (ethnog), accumulated info to 20th C, useful now. More than 100 possible atlatl parts from Solutrean + Magdalenian levels in Europe. Most studies say not really useable because: too short, too curved, other uses more likely, too fragile + decorated. Now we can reject these arguments. 1. Complete examples show modification for attachment to longer handle. 2. Curvature misunderstood, and not an obstacle. 3. Use-wear on hooks confirms atlatl use. 4. Wear and repair even on decorated ones confirms use. Ethnog suggestions of size, material, form of accompanying darts, and use. All kinds of game attested, as well as warfare. Australian claims ranges up to and even over 100 m, hunting range usually 15-20 or 30 m.

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