Author Topic: more atlatl discussion  (Read 16775 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline YosemiteBen

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,671
Re: more atlatl discussion
« Reply #15 on: April 15, 2011, 10:26:46 pm »
Good afternoon -

Offline anasazi

  • Member
  • Posts: 144
Re: more atlatl discussion
« Reply #16 on: August 17, 2012, 03:59:28 pm »
Would it have a effect to some ones arm similar to changing from throwing a woofle ball to throwing a base balljust a thought i havent tried using a banner stone yet

Offline burchett.donald

  • Member
  • Posts: 2,245
Re: more atlatl discussion
« Reply #17 on: August 27, 2012, 06:41:41 pm »
  Could the stone have been used to stabilize the atlatl for better accuracy? Kinda like a stabilizer on bows...
Genesis 27:3 Now therefore take, I pray thee, thy weapons, thy quiver and thy bow, and go out to the field, and take me some venison;

Offline YosemiteBen

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,671
Re: more atlatl discussion
« Reply #18 on: August 29, 2012, 03:43:12 pm »
Don't know what happened to my last post but....
Have you ever gone canoeing and put the blade all the way in the water and tried to paddle? Pushing that column of water with the blade makes your hand wobble like crazy figure almost a square foot of water at 60 lbs more or less to the cubic foot times the lentgh of the stroke and that is a lot of weight to try to push. With the atlatl you have appx 2/3 of the dart weight in front of the atlatl and that does cause some wobble in your throw. Perhaps the banner stone is to stabilize the wobble of the throw.

Offline RidgeRunner

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,147
Re: more atlatl discussion
« Reply #19 on: December 04, 2012, 02:51:17 pm »
Not long ago I read that the weight may have been used as a counter weight to the dart.  ( Cant remember where I read that.)

If you were in the ready position with the atlata raised the weight of the dart ( out front of your hand ) would get heavy and want to droop to the ground.  The weight, on the atlata,  would balance the dart in your hand.  Then you could hold it "up" and ready much longer.

Makes since....

David
David Key / N.W. Alabama

Offline swamp monkey

  • Member
  • Posts: 784
Re: more atlatl discussion
« Reply #20 on: December 13, 2012, 10:56:54 pm »
You know it would be pretty cool if we could pull off some experiments on this.  If nothing else it would satisfy our need to experiment with primitive tools. 

Offline iowabow

  • Member
  • Posts: 4,707
Re: more atlatl discussion
« Reply #21 on: December 13, 2012, 11:30:19 pm »
Here is the answer and it is the right one because it comes from me lol.... a bow shoots an arrow, spined based on the bows poundage...therefore moving the stone along the shaft would changing the speed of the cast.  This would allow you to use more of the spear shafts within a group.
(:::.) The ABO path is a new frontier to the past!

Offline JackCrafty

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 5,450
  • Sorry Officer, I was just gathering "materials".
Re: more atlatl discussion
« Reply #22 on: December 14, 2012, 12:54:44 am »
The drilled banner stones are fragile.  Exactly the opposite of what is needed.  The inline banner stones make a lot more sense.  Besides, there is existing evidence for the inline type.

I think the drilled banner stones were flywheels, like you guys suggested earlier.  Flywheels are used for spinning cordage, drilling holes, and for gambling games.  One drilled banner stone could serve many different needs.  That's my take. :)

If it is true that banner stones went by the wayside when the bow and arrow was introduced, that would be very interesting.
Any critter tastes good with enough butter on it. :::.

Patrick Blank
Midland, Texas
JackCrafty (youtube)

Where's the Rock?  Public Waterways, Road Cuts, Landscape Supply, Knap-Ins.
How Do I Cook It?  Light Colors:  200  for 24hrs, 400  for 4hrs, Cool for 12hrs.

Offline swamp monkey

  • Member
  • Posts: 784
Re: more atlatl discussion
« Reply #23 on: December 24, 2012, 11:47:50 am »
Jack Crafty, your comment about the bannerstones going away is an interesting comment. 

I recall a discussion with an archeologist from the Middle Mississippi Valley that may be of interest.  He said that atlatl bannerstones in this area (MO, IL,KY, TN AR) started out as the type you bind on.  This was the early Archaic which is roughly 7,000 years ago (keep in mind that date can vary from region to region).  H e then said bannerstone use increased and the winged type stones were introduced by about 5,000 years ago or the middle Archaic period.  By the late Archaic period (4,000 ya) bannerstone use declined including the winged variety.  By the Woodland period few if any bannerstones could be found in our area.

He then offered up some juicy tidbits. I pass these along for the primitive philosophers among us. 

First, he said you can look at some of the copper and flint maces that were crafted in the Woodland and Mississippian periods and they resemble a winged bannerstone.  I went back and looked through some books and he was right.  There is one very famous flint mace from Lilbourn Missouri that does indeed resemble an hour glass bannerstone.  He explained it as a leftover.  Kind of like Microsoft Word using a 3.5 inch floppy disk image as an icon for "save";  who even uses those things anymore?  A leftover.  Bows were introduced in at least the Woodland period around here.  So he suggested that the atlatl was a vestigial tool at this point. but its icon held some meaning.

Second, he indicated that if you examine the paleo-climate for this area there was a warm and dry period (called a hypisthermal period) that created a lot of prairie habitat even in the Ozarks where it was dominated by trees most of its prehistory all the way back to right after the ice age.  His point was that atlatls were clumsy in a forest due to the wooden objects you could strike and knock the spear off the hook.  A prairie, in his estimation, would provide a more open environment.  Less "clanking" opportunities I suppose.    Bottom line, his point was that the banner stone rise and fall is matched perfectly with the hypistehrmal.  When you have more water and cooler climate that is good for trees and is good to fill your streams and rivers.  He indicated that when aquatic resources became scarce, more and more people used hunting to fill the pantry.  The bannerstone may have been worth the effort if you really depended on it.  200 hours of craftsmanship may have been worth it if it did, or you thought it helped your hunt.  Once things began to cool and become wetter they could depend on the aquatic resources as they once had. Thus bannerstones became less important until the bow was introduced. 

I throw that out there for discussion in good spirit.  There are some very knowledgeable people on this site and we can certainly learn something from such conversations. 

Offline Onebowonder

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,490
Re: more atlatl discussion
« Reply #24 on: July 30, 2013, 05:16:01 pm »
I have been given to understand that the banner stone may have served the purpose of allowing the throwing arm to be held in the cocked and ready position for longer periods of time as it would provide a counter weight to the long end of the spear.  Depending upon the hunting/fighting environment, it may have been significantly advantageous to be able to walk about "at the ready" rather than having to load a dart and cock your arm into position for a cast just as you noticed a possible opportuinty to take a shot.  I've done my own simple tesing of this idea and it seemed to work out in my experience, ...though my testing was far from anything that could be called scientific!

OneBow

Offline Marks

  • Member
  • Posts: 673
Re: more atlatl discussion
« Reply #25 on: August 02, 2013, 05:05:57 pm »
Before I type let me say I know almost nothing about atlalts besides what I learned in school, and googling pics of bannerstones so this may be common sense, ridiculous or revolutionary. (I doubt its the last one)

With that being said, Some of the banner stone pics look like it was tied on back stationary as a counterweight of some sort. Some looked like a hole drilled thru the rock and slid onto the shaft of the atlatl. I'm referring to the ones with the hole drilled.

 If the stone was left to slide up the shaft from your hand to the tip as you thru it would in not give you a lot more power on your swing??

Offline swamp monkey

  • Member
  • Posts: 784
Re: more atlatl discussion
« Reply #26 on: August 02, 2013, 11:02:56 pm »
I made two of these atlatls with winged bannerstones.  One with a long shaft and one with a short shaft.  My observations about bannerstones are the following:

  • It makes throwing harder on my arm.
    It does not improve my distance.
    It may even decrease it.
    It does dampen the swish during my throw in terms of volume and pitch.
    It looks really cool and attracts attention down at buffalo wild wings ;)
    Longer shafts make the weight harder to manage in a throw.
    Shorter shafts cause less strain on my arm.
    The further the weight is from the handle the harder it is to accelerate the system.


Regarding the sliding bannerstone, following are my opinions:  :D

  • If the bannerstone were to slide I am well certain the hook (which is glued on) would eventually be knocked off, unless there were a stop short of hitting it. 
    this would make throwing even harder. 
    If there was such a stop I am certain the repeated thump of the bannerstone would wear that down allowing it to move forward incrementally. 
    furthermore a slide with a sudden stop would make noise which no sane hunter wants. 


« Last Edit: August 29, 2013, 08:04:58 pm by swamp monkey »

Offline Joec123able

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,769
Re: more atlatl discussion
« Reply #27 on: August 04, 2013, 04:48:26 am »
Maybe it was just there for looks  8)
I like osage

Offline swamp monkey

  • Member
  • Posts: 784
Re: more atlatl discussion
« Reply #28 on: August 04, 2013, 09:52:11 am »
Cahokia Mounds had their archeology day event yesterday.  At the event was Larry Kinsella.  Larry make all sorts of replicas including igneous celts, and banner stones.  He recently had a paper published in Ethnoarcheology where he used biomechanical analysis to show that bannerstones on atlatls actually took stress off of certain muscle groups for one action only - holding the atlatl in the ready position.  A balance function was suggested decades ago and here it is back in the headlines. 

Let's say for the sake of argument he is right.  Deer hunters think about this.  If you need to hold this system steady, with no movement for extended periods; wouldn't you want this to happen without fatigue?  I don't know if that article is on line but it caught my interest enough to find out. 

Oh and Jackcrafty is right about the bannerstones being fragile.  They break easily around the drilled hole area.  Another good reason not to allow them to slide with force. 

Offline swamp monkey

  • Member
  • Posts: 784
Re: more atlatl discussion
« Reply #29 on: August 04, 2013, 10:08:54 am »
The journal is on line and costs to see the full article. 

I am tight.  Here is the abstract.

Abstract:
There are many hypotheses concerning the distinctive prehistoric ground-stone artifacts known to Americanist archaeologists as bannerstones or atlatl (spear-thrower) weights, but there is no consensus concerning the best explanation for their form and function. Based upon several decades of experience replicating and using atlatls, as well as observing white-tailed deer behavior in deciduous woodlands of eastern North America, I suggest a plausible function for bannerstones that differs from previous interpretations. For a hunter of white-tailed deer, waiting in ambush with atlatl and projectile in pre-launch position, a bannerstone attached to the atlatl works very well as a counterbalance. Focus upon detailed behavior of specific prey animals as well as on the hunting techniques and equipment of their human predators opens new lines of inquiry about atlatls and bannerstones.