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Mississippi Valley Archaeology Center

Atlatl Station a Success

September 16, 2015

WDSCN3807Connie Arzigian assisted over one hundred people with trying their hand with the atlatl and darts at Saturday’s Whitewater Valley Archaeology Festival held at Whitewater State Park in celebration of Minnesota Archaeology Week. Atlatls were the weapon of choice during the last ice age, and were used to bring down mammoths, mastodons, elk, deer, and other large and small animals. They were used in the Midwest up until the adoption of the bow and arrow around 600-800 A.D. Though no critters were hurt during our experiments, people did gain an appreciation of the power and increase in distance that the atlatl provides the hunter. Many first-time users were able to at least double the distance that they could throw a dart by hand, and some people were sending the darts to the outer edges of our allotted field area. Next year, we may have to get a larger field.