Author Topic: more atlatl discussion  (Read 16776 times)

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Offline jamie

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more atlatl discussion
« on: January 11, 2010, 12:27:04 pm »
im doing a piece for a new exhibit at a museum i do work for. if they need anything sharp and deadly im the one they ask to reproduce it. anyway ive been asked for an atlatl and dart. ive been doing quite a bit of research into the setup so it looks authentic, not just something i made with my visions. biggest question of course with atlatls is whether the bannerstones were part of the atlatl. one study says it was used to quiet the whip sound down and it does. one dig shows the bannerstone inline with handles and hooks from an atlatl, however the stone wasnt winged, as most picture a bannerstone to be. i like bob bergs theory of the bannerstone being a flywheel for a drop spindle. this makes a lot of sense to me, especially because of the large variences in size you will find with bannerstones. only problem with this theory is the bannerstone production drops off around the same time when atlatls where being replaced with the bow and arrow. so the theory that it was used to produce thread for binding points and feathers to darts doesnt make sense. the bow and arrow require just as much thread if not more, if one adds the bowstring to the equation. wondering what everybodies thoughts are on the subject. peace
"Man is a tool-using animal. Without tools he is nothing, with tools he is all."

waterbury, ct

Offline Hillbilly

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Re: more atlatl discussion
« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2010, 12:42:58 pm »
I don't think anybody knows for sure. I've seen museum replicas done both with and without stones. All I know is that from what little I've experimented with them, I see absolutely no use at all for a bannerstone on an atlatl. They look cool, but actually seem to hinder the performance as far as I can tell- I can throw much farther and more accurately without one myself. Not to mention being a lot more work to make and more weight to tote around.
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Offline jamie

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Re: more atlatl discussion
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2010, 12:51:12 pm »
i kinda feel the same about the production of the bannerstone. but in an advanced tribal society there are a lot of examples of artifacts that show they produced "unneeded" items. most of the stone knives i have seen had to be status symbols. so if it was a needed item then they would definetly use the time to produce them. you are right there is no answer and im gonna drive myself nuts figuring it out.  ;D
"Man is a tool-using animal. Without tools he is nothing, with tools he is all."

waterbury, ct

Offline Bone pile

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Re: more atlatl discussion
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2010, 10:05:55 am »
I heard a discussion were the bannerstone was used as part of a drop spindle in spining fiber into cordage.Don't know how much truth was in this observation,but an interesting thought.
Bone pile
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half eye

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Re: more atlatl discussion
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2010, 02:32:36 pm »
Fellas,
       I'm certainly no expert but the bannerstones might be used in conjunction with the dart material. A lever doesn't bennift from extra weight....but if you are throwing a heavy dart (available wood, large points etc) there would be an advantage to increase the "driving" mass.
       Not much different than big heavy bows for big heavy arrows. Maybe the guys with cane darts could use a good heavy hardwood thrower (atlatl) and could get more speed for the lighter weight? and the guys with only hardwood for shafts and/ or large heads (like small spear points) would want to increase the mass of the atlatl to better put energy into the heavier projectile. This might account for the differences in the size and shape of the stones themselves...or the total lack of them....just a thought
       If the paleo indians were anything it was smart enough to know what works
half eye

Offline jamie

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Re: more atlatl discussion
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2010, 06:47:09 pm »
my biggest problem with that idea is the drilled bannerstones. the atlatl has to be turned down just to fit through that hole. so you are decreasing mass and increasing flexibility to add more weight.

another thing with the whip effect, that is supposed to be created by the bannerstone, that bothers me is there is already whip in the dart itself. so why add weight to atlatl. we dont add weight to the limbs of our bows to get more speed. we want our tips as light as possible.

thinking like a cave man the only reason i can come up with to add the bannerstone to the atlatl is to bash somethings skull in.
"Man is a tool-using animal. Without tools he is nothing, with tools he is all."

waterbury, ct

Offline Hillbilly

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Re: more atlatl discussion
« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2010, 11:02:51 am »
I think it was more of a ceremonial bling thang.
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Progress might have been all right once but it's gone on for far too long.

Offline Josh

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Re: more atlatl discussion
« Reply #7 on: January 15, 2010, 11:40:02 am »
I think it was more of a ceremonial bling thang.


 ;D
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Offline Jude

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Re: more atlatl discussion
« Reply #8 on: January 22, 2010, 05:07:41 am »
The skull bashing idea may not be too far off. since once the dart is gone, you might have immediate need for a club.  Another thought comes to mind though; could they have been a sort of pommel weight, placed just below the hand rather than above it?  It's done with heavy bladed swords to make them handle faster.  Adding weight to the pommel makes the tip move faster by acting as a counter balance.  Just a thought.
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Offline jamie

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Re: more atlatl discussion
« Reply #9 on: January 22, 2010, 06:58:10 am »
i honestly think they made them to screw with us! ;D like the pommel idea though.
"Man is a tool-using animal. Without tools he is nothing, with tools he is all."

waterbury, ct

Offline square shooter

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Re: more atlatl discussion
« Reply #10 on: January 25, 2010, 10:46:38 pm »
You're on to it Jude! Anytime weight is added to a lever on the "load line" end,
it slows acceleration, but on the other side of the rocker anchor, fulcrum, it slows, acceleration
too,
allowing the work end to move more; receive more of the energy, like a teeter-totter with
one rider, and the dart on the opposite seat.  The only
advantage, light or heavy dart, has to be a weight below the fulcrum. This weight also
causes the bottom to go backward less, causing the top, working end, to travel farther
-- slightly longer stroke. That is, the fulcrum will move forward more than it would without
the weight.

Offline Parnell

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Re: more atlatl discussion
« Reply #11 on: January 26, 2010, 12:07:58 pm »
Was wondering, and I don't mean to hijack, Comstock's chapter in TBB2 about Ancient European Bows talks about Atlatls using a cord wrapped around the shaft.  I don't get how it was used.  I'm just seeing it as stopping a release.  Anyone understand this?
1’—>1’

Offline jamie

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Re: more atlatl discussion
« Reply #12 on: January 26, 2010, 12:18:23 pm »
Parnell its a handle with a long rope on it. The rope has a knot at the end. You wrap the knotted end around the end of the dart and throw it just like an atlatl. The handle isn't needed. I've thrown an arrow 140 yards with this method.
"Man is a tool-using animal. Without tools he is nothing, with tools he is all."

waterbury, ct

Offline Parnell

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Re: more atlatl discussion
« Reply #13 on: January 26, 2010, 01:31:27 pm »
Alright, I see.  From the reading it sounded like the rope was to be wrapped around the shaft.  Thanks for the reply.
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Offline swamp monkey

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Re: more atlatl discussion
« Reply #14 on: December 12, 2010, 06:55:27 pm »
I don't think anybody knows for sure. I've seen museum replicas done both with and without stones. All I know is that from what little I've experimented with them, I see absolutely no use at all for a bannerstone on an atlatl. They look cool, but actually seem to hinder the performance as far as I can tell- I can throw much farther and more accurately without one myself. Not to mention being a lot more work to make and more weight to tote around.

I threw darts with a banner stoned atlatl and it was not pleasant for my arm.  I felt like the whole atlatl was way too heavy.  I am used to non-weighted atlatls so That may have something to do with it or I may not be using the right kind of dart system.  Who knows what the missing link is.