Atlatl Research Paper

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The atlatl is an ancient paleolithic tool used as a lever to lengthen the distance that a dart can be thrown, compared to using just an arm. But does an atlatl really lengthen how far a dart travels compared to throwing the dart by hand? Based on accumulated information, the hypothesis was: If an atlatl is used to throw a dart, then it will lengthen the distance that the dart will travel compared to throwing it by hand. This is because the atlatl is a lever that acts as another joint of the arm, increasing both the leverage, force, and energy of a throw. To test this, I created an atlatl using a wooden branch with a spur sticking out of it, paracord, a rock, tape, a bamboo stick, duct tape, knife, and a saw. I carved the wooden branch to…show more content…
The Aztecs used the atlatl in war in the fight with the Spanish conquistadors, as well as to fish. The name atlatl is actually coined from the Aztec word atlatl, meaning water thrower. Though there are many variations of the atlatl, the basis of it stays the same. It was generally made with 3 major parts: the handle, the shaft, and the spur. The handle is what was held in the hand, the shaft is between the handle and spur, and the spur is a slightly inclined point that fits into a small hole at the end of a dart.
The atlatl is known to have other additions to it. For example, a stone weight was sometimes added which acts as a counterbalance between the atlatl and the dart. It also resists acceleration, which allows for the dart to store more energy in itself before it pushes off. Some say use of a weight also lessens the whistling sound that an atlatl can make as it speeds through the air, enabling for a silent and deadly weapon. Another addition to the atlatl is a wrist loop which prevents the atlatl from flying off of the hand as the dart
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