A spear is a pole weapon consisting of a shaft, usually of wood, with a pointed head. The head may be simply the sharpened end of the shaft itself, as is the case with fire hardened spears, or it may be made of a more durable material fastened to the shaft, such as flint, obsidian, iron, steel or bronze. The most common design for hunting or combat spears since ancient times has incorporated a metal spearhead shaped like a triangle, lozenge, or leaf. The heads of fishing spears usually feature barbs or serrated edges.
The word spear comes from the Old English spere, from the Proto-Germanic speri, from a Proto-Indo-European root *sper- "spear, pole". Spears can be divided into two broad categories: those designed for thrusting in melee combat and those designed for throwing (usually referred to as javelins).
The spear has been used throughout human history both as a hunting and fishing tool and as a weapon. Along with the axe, knife and club, it is one of the earliest and most important tools developed by early humans. As a weapon, it may be wielded with either one hand or two. It was used in virtually every conflict up until the modern era, where even then it continues on in the form of the bayonet, and is probably the most commonly used weapon in history.
Spear manufacture and use is not confined to humans. It is also practiced by the western chimpanzee. Chimpanzees near Kédougou, Senegal have been observed to create spears by breaking straight limbs off trees, stripping them of their bark and side branches, and sharpening one end with their teeth. They then used the weapons to hunt galagos sleeping in hollows.
Archaeological evidence found in present-day Germany documents that wooden spears have been used for hunting since at least 400,000 years ago, and a 2012 study suggests that Homo heidelbergensis may have developed the technology about 500,000 years ago. Wood does not preserve well, however, and Craig Stanford, a primatologist and professor of anthropology at the University of Southern California, has suggested that the discovery of spear use by chimpanzees probably means that early humans used wooden spears as well, perhaps, five million years ago.
From circa 200,000 BCE onwards, Middle Paleolithic humans began to make complex stone blades with flaked edges which were used as spear heads. These stone heads could be fixed to the spear shaft by gum or resin or by bindings made of animal sinew, leather strips or vegetable matter. During this period, a clear difference remained between spears designed to be thrown and those designed to be used in hand-to-hand combat. By the Magdalenian period (c. 15,000-9500 BCE), spear-throwers similar to the later atlatl were in use.
The spear is the main weapon of the warriors of Homer's Iliad. The use of both a single thrusting spear and two throwing spears are mentioned. It has been suggested that two styles of combat are being described; an early style, with thrusting spears, dating to the Mycenaean period in which the Iliad is set, and, anachronistically, a later style, with throwing spears, from Homer's own Archaic period.
In the 7th century BCE, the Greeks evolved a new close-order infantry formation, the phalanx. The key to this formation was the hoplite, who was equipped with a large, circular, bronze-faced shield (aspis) and a 7–9 ft (2.1–2.7 m) spear with an iron head and bronze butt-spike (doru). The hoplite phalanx dominated warfare among the Greek City States from the 7th into the 4th century BCE.
The 4th century saw major changes. One was the greater use of peltasts, light infantry armed with spear and javelins. The other was the development of the sarissa, a two-handed pike 18 ft (5.5 m) in length, by the Macedonians under Phillip of Macedon and Alexander the Great. The pike phalanx, supported by peltasts and cavalry, became the dominant mode of warfare among the Greeks from the late 4th century onward until Greek military systems were supplanted by the Roman legions.
In the pre-Marian Roman armies, the first two lines of battle, the hastati and principes, often fought with a sword called a gladius and pila, heavy javelins that were specifically designed to be thrown at an enemy to pierce and foul a target's shield. Originally the principes were armed with a short spear called a hasta, but these gradually fell out of use, eventually being replaced by the gladius. The third line, the triarii, continued to use the hasta.
From the late 2nd century BCE, all legionaries were equipped with the pilum. The pilum continued to be the standard legionary spear until the end of the 2nd century CE. Auxilia, however, were equipped with a simple hasta and, perhaps, throwing spears. During the 3rd century CE, although the pilum continued to be used, legionaries usually were equipped with other forms of throwing and thrusting spear, similar to auxilia of the previous century. By the 4th century, the pilum had effectively disappeared from common use.
In the late period of the Roman Empire, the spear became more often used because of its anti-cavalry capacities as the barbarian invasions were often conducted by people with a developed culture of cavalry in warfare.
Muslim warriors used a spear that was called an az-zaġāyah. Berbers pronounced it zaġāya, but the English term, derived from the Old French via Berber, is "assegai". It is a pole weapon used for throwing or hurling, usually a light spear or javelin made of hard wood and pointed with a forged iron tip.The az-zaġāyah played an important role during the Islamic conquest as well as during later periods, well into the 20th century. A longer pole az-zaġāyah was being used as a hunting weapon from horseback. The az-zaġāyah was widely used. It existed in various forms in areas stretching from Southern Africa to the Indian subcontinent, although these places already had their own variants of the spear. This javelin was the weapon of choice during the Fulani jihad as well as during the Mahdist War in Sudan. It is still being used by Sikh Nihang in the Punjab as well as certain wandering Sufi ascetics (Derwishes).
After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, the spear and shield continued to be used by nearly all Western European cultures. Since a medieval spear required only a small amount of steel along the sharpened edges (most of the spear-tip was wrought iron), it was an economical weapon. Quick to manufacture, and needing less smithing skill than a sword, it remained the main weapon of the common soldier. The Vikings, for instance, although often portrayed with axe or sword in hand, were armed mostly with spears, as were their Anglo-Saxon, Irish, or continental contemporaries.
Broadly speaking, spears were either designed to be used in melee, or to be thrown. Within this simple classification, there was a remarkable range of types. For example, M.J. Swanton identified thirty different spearhead categories and sub-categories in Early Saxon England. Most medieval spearheads were generally leaf-shaped. Notable types of Early medieval spears include the angon, a throwing spear with a long head similar to the Roman pilum, used by the Franks and Anglo-Saxons, and the winged (or lugged) spear, which had two prominent wings at the base of the spearhead, either to prevent the spear penetrating too far into an enemy or to aid in spear fencing. Originally a Frankish weapon, the winged spear also was popular with the Vikings. It would become the ancestor of later medieval polearms, such as the partisan and spetum.
The thrusting spear also has the advantage of reach, being considerably longer than other weapon types. Exact spear lengths are hard to deduce as few spear shafts survive archaeologically but 6–8 ft (1.8–2.4 m) would seem to have been the norm. Some nations were noted for their long spears, including the Scots and the Flemish. Spears usually were used in tightly ordered formations, such as the shieldwall or the schiltron. To resist cavalry, spear shafts could be planted against the ground. William Wallace drew up his schiltrons in a circle at the Battle of Falkirk in 1298 to deter charging cavalry, it was a widespread tactic sometimes known as the "crown" formation.
Throwing spears became rarer as the Middle Ages drew on, but survived in the hands of specialists such as the Catalan Almogavars. They were commonly used in Ireland until the end of the 16th century.
Spears began to lose fashion among the infantry during the 14th century, being replaced by pole weapons that combined the thrusting properties of the spear with the cutting properties of the axe, such as the halberd. Where spears were retained they grew in length, eventually evolving into pikes, which would be a dominant infantry weapon in the 16th and 17th centuries.
Cavalry spears were originally the same as infantry spears and were often used with two hands or held with one hand overhead. In the 12th century, after the adoption of stirrups and a high-cantled saddle, the spear became a decidedly more powerful weapon. A mounted knight would secure the lance by holding it with one hand and tucking it under the armpit (the couched lance technique) This allowed all the momentum of the horse and knight to be focused on the weapon's tip, whilst still retaining accuracy and control. This use of the spear spurred the development of the lance as a distinct weapon that was perfected in the medieval sport of jousting.
In the 14th century, tactical developments meant that knights and men-at-arms often fought on foot. This led to the practice of shortening the lance to about 5 ft (1.5 m).) to make it more manageable. As dismounting became commonplace, specialist pole weapons such as the pollaxe were adopted by knights and this practice ceased.
Spears were used first as hunting weapons amongst the ancient Chinese. They became popular as infantry weapons during the Warring States and Qin era, when spearmen were used as especially highly disciplined soldiers in organized group attacks. When used in formation fighting, spearmen would line up their large rectangular or circular shields in a shieldwall manner. The Qin also employed long spears (more akin to a pike) in formations similar to Swiss pikemen in order to ward off cavalry. The Han Empire would use similar tactics as its Qin predecessors. Halberds, polearms, and dagger axes were also common weapons during this time.
Spears were also common weaponry for Warring States, Qin, and Han era cavalry units. During these eras, the spear would develop into a longer lance-like weapon used for cavalry charges.
There are many words in Chinese that would be classified as a spear in English. The Mao is the predecessor of the Qiang. The first bronze Mao appeared in the Shang dynasty. This weapon was less prominent on the battlefield than the ge (dagger-axe). In some archaeological examples two tiny holes or ears can be found in the blade of the spearhead near the socket, these holes were presumably used to attach tassels, much like modern day wushu spears.
In the early Shang, the Mao appeared to have a relatively short shaft as well as a relatively narrow shaft as opposed to Mao in the later Shang and Western Zhou period. Some Mao from this era are heavily decorated as is evidenced by a Warring States period Mao from the Ba Shu area.
In the Han dynasty the Mao and the Ji (戟 Ji can be loosely defined as a halberd) rose to prominence in the military. Interesting to note is that the amount of iron Mao-heads found exceeds the number of bronze heads. By the end of the Han dynasty (Eastern Han) the process of replacement of the iron Mao had been completed and the bronze Mao had been rendered completely obsolete. After the Han dynasty toward the Sui and Tang dynasties the Mao used by cavalry were fitted with much longer shafts, as is mentioned above. During this era, the use of the Shuo (矟) was widespread among the footmen. The Shuo can be likened to a pike or simply a long spear.
After the Tang dynasty, the popularity of the Mao declined and was replaced by the Qiang (枪). The Tang dynasty divided the Qiang in four categories: "一曰漆枪， 二曰木枪， 三曰白杆枪， 四曰扑头枪。” Roughly translated the four categories are: Qi (a kind of wood) Spears, Wooden Spears, Bai Gan (A kind of wood) Spears and Pu Tou Qiang. The Qiang that were produced in the Song and Ming dynasties consisted of four major parts: Spearhead, Shaft, End Spike and Tassel. The types of Qiang that exist are many. Among the types there are cavalry Qiang that were the length of one zhang (eleven feet and nine inches or 3.58 m), Litte-Flower Spears (Xiao Hua Qiang 小花枪) that are the length of one person and their arm extended above his head, double hooked spears, single hooked spears, ringed spears and many more.
There is some confusion as to how to distinguish the Qiang from the Mao, as they are obviously very similar. Some people say that a Mao is longer than a Qiang, others say that the main difference is between the stiffness of the shaft, where the Qiang would be flexible and the Mao would be stiff. Scholars seem to lean toward the latter explanation more than the former. Because of the difference in the construction of the Mao and the Qiang, the usage is also different, though there is no definitive answer as to what exactly the differences are between the Mao and the Qiang.
Spears in the Indian society were used both in missile and non-missile form, both by cavalry and foot-soldiers. Mounted spear-fighting was practiced using with a ten-foot, ball-tipped wooden lance called a bothati, the end of which was covered in dye so that hits may be confirmed. Spears were constructed from a variety of materials such as the sang made completely of steel, and the ballam which had a bamboo shaft. The Rajputs wielded a type of spear for infantrymen which had a club integrated into the spearhead, and a pointed butt end. Other spears had forked blades, several spear-points, and numerous other innovations. One particular spear unique to India was the vita or corded lance. Used by the Maratha army, it had a rope connecting the spear with the user's wrist, allowing the weapon to be thrown and pulled back. The Vel is a type of spear or lance, originated in Southern India, primarily used by Tamils.
The hoko spear was used in ancient Japan sometime between the Yayoi period and the Heian period, but it became unpopular as early samurai often acted as horseback archers. Medieval Japan employed spears again for infantrymen to use, but it was not until the 11th century in that samurai began to prefer spears over bows. Several polearms were used in the Japanese theatres; the naginata was a glaive-like weapon with a long, curved blade popularly among the samurai and the Buddhist warrior-monks, often used against cavalry; the yari was a longer polearm, with a straight-bladed spearhead, which became the weapon of choice of both the samurai and the ashigaru (footmen) during the Warring States Era, The horseback samurai used shorter yari for his single-armed combat, on the other hand, ashigaru infantries used long yari (similar with European pike) for their massed combat formation.
Filipino spears (sibat) were used as both a weapon and a tool throughout the Philippines. It is also called a bangkaw (after the Bankaw Revolt.), sumbling or palupad in the islands of Visayas and Mindanao. Sibat are typically made from rattan, either with a sharpened tip or a head made from metal. These heads may either be single-edged, double-edged or barbed. Styles vary according to function and origin. For example, a sibat designed for fishing may not be the same as those used for hunting.
The spear was used as the primary weapon in expeditions and battles against neighbouring island kingdoms and it became famous during the 1521 Battle of Mactan, where the chieftain Lapu Lapu of Cebu fought against Spanish forces led by Ferdinand Magellan who was subsequently killed.
The Vietnamese people used spears similar to that of the Chinese, but also used punji spears
As advanced metallurgy was largely unknown in pre-Columbian America outside of Western Mexico and South America, most weapons in Meso-America were made of wood or obsidian. This didn't mean that they were less lethal, as obsidian may be sharpened to become many times sharper than steel. Meso-American spears varied greatly in shape and size. While the Aztecs preferred the sword-like macuahuitl for fighting, the advantage of a far-reaching thrusting weapon was recognised, and a large portion of the army would carry the tepoztopilli into battle. The tepoztopilli was a pole-arm, and to judge from depictions in various Aztec codices, it was roughly the height of a man, with a broad wooden head about twice the length of the users' palm or shorter, edged with razor-sharp obsidian blades which were deeply set in grooves carved into the head, and cemented in place with bitumen or plant resin as an adhesive. The tepoztopilli was able both to thrust and slash effectively.
Throwing spears also were used extensively in Meso-American warfare, usually with the help of an atlatl. Throwing spears were typically shorter and more stream-lined than the tepoztopilli, and some had obsidian edges for greater penetration.
Typically, most spears made by Native Americans were created with materials surrounded by their communities. Usually, the shaft of the spears were made with a wooden stick while the head of the spear was fashioned from arrowheads, pieces of metal such as copper, or a bone that had been sharpened. Spears were a preferred weapon by many since it was inexpensive to create, could more easily be taught to others, and could be made quickly and in large quantities.
Native Americans used the Buffalo Pound method to kill buffalo, which required a hunter to dress as a buffalo and lure one into a ravine where other hunters were hiding. Once the buffalo appeared, the other hunters would kill him with spears. A variation of this technique, called the Buffalo Jump was when a runner would lead the animals towards a cliff. As the buffalo got close to the cliff, other members of the tribe would jump out from behind rocks or trees and scare the buffalo over the cliff. Other hunters would be waiting at the bottom of the cliff to spear the animal to death.
The development of both the long, two-handed pike and gunpowder in Renaissance Europe saw an ever-increasing focus on integrated infantry tactics. Those infantry not armed with these weapons carried variations on the pole-arm, including the halberd and the bill. Ultimately, the spear proper was rendered obsolete on the battlefield. Its last flowering was the half-pike or spontoon, a shortened version of the pike carried by officers and NCOs. While originally a weapon, this came to be seen more as a badge of office, or leading staff by which troops were directed. The half-pike, sometimes known as a boarding pike, was also used as a weapon on board ships until the 19th century.
At the start of the Renaissance, cavalry remained predominantly lance-armed; gendarmes with the heavy knightly lance and lighter cavalry with a variety of lighter lances. By the 1540s, however, pistol-armed cavalry called reiters were beginning to make their mark. Cavalry armed with pistols and other lighter firearms, along with a sword, had virtually replaced lance armed cavalry in Western Europe by the beginning of the 17th century.
One of the earliest forms of killing prey for humans, hunting game with a spear and spear fishing continues to this day as both a means of catching food and as a cultural activity. Some of the most common prey for early humans were mega fauna such as mammoths which were hunted with various kinds of spear. One theory for the Quaternary extinction event was that most of these animals were hunted to extinction by humans with spears. Even after the invention of other hunting weapons such as the bow the spear continued to be used, either as a projectile weapon or used in the hand as was common in boar hunting.
Spear hunting fell out of favour in most of Europe in the 18th century, but continued in Germany, enjoying a revival in the 1930s. Spear hunting is still practiced in the USA. Animals taken are primarily wild boar and deer, although trophy animals such as cats and big game as large as a Cape Buffalo are hunted with spears. Alligator are hunted in Florida with a type of harpoon.
The Celts would symbolically destroy a dead warrior's spear either to prevent its use by another or as a sacrificial offering.
In classical Greek mythology Zeus' bolts of lightning may be interpreted as a symbolic spear. Some would carry that interpretation to the spear that frequently is associated with Athena, interpreting her spear as a symbolic connection to some of Zeus' power beyond the Aegis once he rose to replacing other deities in the pantheon. Athena was depicted with a spear prior to that change in myths, however. Chiron's wedding-gift to Peleus when he married the nymph Thetis in classical Greek mythology, was an ashen spear as the nature of ashwood with its straight grain made it an ideal choice of wood for a spear.
The Romans and their early enemies would force prisoners to walk underneath a 'yoke of spears', which humiliated them. The yoke would consist of three spears, two upright with a third tied between them at a height which made the prisoners stoop. It has been surmised that this was because such a ritual involved the prisoners' warrior status being taken away. Alternatively, it has been suggested that the arrangement has a magical origin, a way to trap evil spirits. The word subjugate has its origins in this practice (from Latin sub = under, jugum=a yoke).
In Norse Mythology, the God Odin's spear (named Gungnir) was made by the sons of Ivaldi. It had the special property that it never missed its mark. During the War with the Vanir, Odin symbolically threw Gungnir into the Vanir host. This practice of symbolically casting a spear into the enemy ranks at the start of a fight was sometimes used in historic clashes, to seek Odin's support in the coming battle. In Wagner's opera Siegfried, the haft of Gungnir is said to be from the "World-Tree" Yggdrasil.
Sir James George Frazer in The Golden Bough noted the phallic nature of the spear and suggested that in the Arthurian Legends the spear or lance functioned as a symbol of male fertility, paired with the Grail (as a symbol of female fertility).
The term spear is also used (in a somewhat archaic manner) to describe the male line of a family, as opposed to the distaff or female line.
Winston Rodney OD (born 1 March 1945), better known by the stage name Burning Spear, is a Jamaican roots reggae vocalist and musician. Burning Spear is a Rastafarian and one of the most influential and long-standing roots artists to emerge from the 1970s.Cape Spear
Cape Spear, located on the Avalon Peninsula near St. John's, Newfoundland, is the easternmost point in Canada (52°37'W), and North America, excluding Danish-controlled Greenland.
Cape Spear is within the municipal boundaries of the city of St. John's, located about 2 miles (3.2 km) from Blackhead, an amalgamated area of St. John's.
The Portuguese named this location "Cabo da Esperança" which means "cape of hope", which became "Cap d'Espoir" in French and finally "Cape Spear".
Cape Spear is the trailhead/trail end for two components of the East Coast Trail.Clovis point
Clovis points are the characteristically-fluted projectile points associated with the New World Clovis culture. They are present in dense concentrations across much of North America; in South America, they are largely restricted to the north of that continent. Clovis points date to the Early Paleoindian period roughly 13,500 to 12,800 calendar years ago. Clovis fluted points are named after the city of Clovis, New Mexico, where examples were first found in 1929 by Ridgely Whiteman.A typical Clovis point is a medium to large lanceolate point. Sides are parallel to convex, and exhibit careful pressure flaking along the blade edge. The broadest area is near the midsection or toward the base. The base is distinctly concave with a characteristic flute or channel flake removed from one or, more commonly, both surfaces of the blade. The lower edges of the blade and base are ground to dull edges for hafting. Clovis points also tend to be thicker than the typically thin later-stage Folsom points. with length ranging from 4 to 20 centimetres (1.6 to 7.9 in) and width from 2.5 to 5 centimetres (0.98 to 1.97 in). Whether the points were knife blades or spear points is an open question.End of the Spear
End of the Spear is a 2005 drama film that recounts the story of Operation Auca, in which five American Christian missionaries attempted to evangelize the Huaorani (Waodani) people of the tropical rain forest of Eastern Ecuador. Based on actual events from 1956 in which five male missionaries were speared by a group of the Waodani tribe, the movie tells the story from the perspective of Steve Saint (the son of Nate Saint, one of the missionaries killed in the encounter), and Mincayani, one of the tribesmen who took part in the attack. The two eventually form a bond that continues to this day.Holy Lance
The Holy Lance, also known as the Lance of Longinus (named after Saint Longinus), the Spear of Destiny, or the Holy Spear is legendarily known as the lance that pierced the side of Jesus as he hung on the cross.Javelin
A javelin is a light spear designed primarily to be thrown, historically as a ranged weapon, but today predominantly for sport. The javelin is almost always thrown by hand, unlike the bow and arrow and slingshot, which shoot projectiles from a mechanism. However, devices do exist to assist the javelin thrower in achieving greater distance, generally called spear-throwers.
A warrior or soldier armed primarily with one or more javelins is a javelineer.
The word javelin comes from Middle English and it derives from Old French javelin, a diminutive of javelot, which meant spear. The word javelot probably originated from one of the Celtic languages.Javelin throw
The javelin throw is a track and field event where the javelin, a spear about 2.5 m (8 ft 2 in) in length, is thrown. The javelin thrower gains momentum by running within a predetermined area. Javelin throwing is an event of both the men's decathlon and the women's heptathlon.Lockheed MC-130
The Lockheed MC-130 is the basic designation for a family of special mission aircraft operated by the United States Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC), a wing of the Air Education and Training Command, and an AFSOC-gained wing of the Air Force Reserve Command. Based on the Lockheed C-130 Hercules transport, the MC-130s' missions are the infiltration, exfiltration, and resupply of special operations forces, and the air refueling of (primarily) special operations helicopter and tilt-rotor aircraft.
The family comprises:
MC-130E Combat Talon I
MC-130H Combat Talon II
MC-130W Combat/Dragon Spear
MC-130P Combat Shadow
MC-130J Commando IIA possible MC-130 variant, designated the XFC-130H, did not proceed beyond the development stage, but one of its aircraft became the YMC-130H testbed aircraft for the Combat Talon II.
The first of the variants, the MC-130E, was developed to support clandestine special operations missions during the Vietnam War. Eighteen were created by modifying C-130E transports, and four lost through attrition, but the remainder served more than four decades after their initial modification. An update, the MC-130H Combat Talon II, was developed in the 1980s from the C-130H and went into service in the 1990s. Four of the original 24 H-series aircraft have been lost in operations.
The Combat Shadows were built during the Vietnam War for search and rescue operations and repurposed in the 1980s as AFSOC air-refueling tankers; the last of the 24 retired in 2015.
The Combat Spear was developed in 2006 as an inexpensive version of the Combat Talon II but was reconfigured and designated the AC-130W Stinger II in 2012.
The MC-130J, which became operational in 2011, is the new-production variant that is replacing the other special operations MC-130s. As of May 2016, the Air Force has taken delivery of 33 of the planned 37 -J models.Migration Period spear
The spear or lance, together with the bow, the sword, the seax and the shield, was the main equipment of the Germanic warriors during the Migration Period and the Early Middle Ages.Patrilineality
Patrilineality, also known as the male line, the spear side or agnatic kinship, is a common kinship system in which an individual's family membership derives from and is recorded through his or her father's lineage. It generally involves the inheritance of property, rights, names or titles by persons related through male kin.
A patriline ("father line") is a person's father, and additional ancestors, as traced only through males.Phishing
Phishing is the fraudulent attempt to obtain sensitive information such as usernames, passwords and credit card details by disguising oneself as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication. Typically carried out by email spoofing or instant messaging, it often directs users to enter personal information at a fake website which matches the look and feel of the legitimate site.Phishing is an example of social engineering techniques being used to deceive users. Users are often lured by communications purporting to be from trusted parties such as social web sites, auction sites, banks, online payment processors or IT administrators.Attempts to deal with phishing incidents include legislation, user training, public awareness, and technical security measures (the latter being due to phishing attacks frequently exploiting weaknesses in current web security).The word itself is a neologism created as a homophone of fishing.Projectile point
In archaeological terms, a projectile point is an object that was hafted to weapon that was capable of being thrown or projected, such as a spear, dart, or arrow, or perhaps used as a knife. They are thus different from weapons presumed to have been kept in the hand, such as axes and maces, and the stone mace or axe-heads often attached to them.
Stone tools, including projectile points, can survive for long periods, were often lost or discarded, and are relatively plentiful, especially at archaeological sites, providing useful clues to the human past, including prehistoric trade. A distinctive form of point, identified though lithic analysis of the way it was made, is often a key diagnostic factor in identifying an archaeological industry or culture. Scientific techniques exist to track the specific kinds of rock or minerals that used to make stone tools in various regions back to their original sources.
As well as stone, projectile points were also made of worked bone, antler or ivory; all of these are less common in the Americas. In regions where metallurgy emerged, projectile points were eventually made from copper, bronze, or iron, though the change was by no means immediate. In North America, some late prehistoric points were fashioned from copper that was mined in the Lake Superior region and elsewhere.Spear-thrower
A spear-thrower or atlatl ( or ; Nahuatl languages: ahtlatl; Nahuatl pronunciation: [ˈaʔt͡ɬat͡ɬ]) is a tool that uses leverage to achieve greater velocity in dart-throwing, and includes a bearing surface which allows the user to store energy during the throw.
It may consist of a shaft with a cup or a spur at the end that supports and propels the butt of the dart. The spear-thrower is held in one hand, gripped near the end farthest from the cup. The dart is thrown by the action of the upper arm and wrist. The throwing arm together with the atlatl acts as a lever. The spear-thrower is a low-mass, fast-moving extension of the throwing arm, increasing the length of the lever. This extra length allows the thrower to impart force to the dart over a longer distance, thus imparting more energy and ultimately higher speeds.Common modern ball throwers (molded plastic shafts used for throwing tennis balls for dogs to fetch) use the same principle.
A spear-thrower is a long-range weapon and can readily impart to a projectile speeds of over 150 km/h (93 mph).Spear-throwers appear very early in human history in several parts of the world, and have survived in use in traditional societies until the present day, as well as being revived in recent years for sporting purposes. In the United States the Nahuatl word atlatl is often used for revived uses of spear-throwers, and in Australia the Aboriginal word woomera.
The ancient Greeks and Romans used a leather thong or loop, known as an ankule or amentum, as a spear-throwing device.Spearfishing
Spearfishing is an ancient method of fishing that has been used throughout the world for millennia. Early civilizations were familiar with the custom of spearing fish from rivers and streams using sharpened sticks.
Today modern spearfishing makes use of elastic powered spearguns and slings, or compressed gas pneumatic powered spearguns, to strike the hunted fish. Specialised techniques and equipment have been developed for various types of aquatic environments and target fish.
Spearfishing may be done using free-diving, snorkelling, or scuba diving techniques. Spearfishing while using scuba equipment is illegal in some countries. The use of mechanically powered spearguns is also outlawed in some countries and jurisdictions. Spearfishing is highly selective, normally uses no bait and has no by-catch.Trident
A trident is a three-pronged spear. It is used for spear fishing and historically as a polearm. The trident is the weapon of Poseidon, or Neptune, the God of the Sea in classical mythology. In Hindu mythology, it is the weapon of Shiva, known as trishula (Sanskrit for "triple-spear"). It has been used by farmers as a decorticator to remove leaves, seeds and buds from the stalks of plants such as flax and hemp.Umkhonto we Sizwe
Umkhonto we Sizwe (Xhosa pronunciation: [uˈmkʰonto we ˈsizwe], meaning "Spear of the Nation") was the armed wing of the African National Congress (ANC), co-founded by Nelson Mandela in the wake of the Sharpeville massacre. Its mission was to fight against the South African government.After warning the South African government in June 1961 of its intent to resist further acts of government instituted terror if the government did not take steps toward constitutional reform and increase political rights, Umkhonto we Sizwe launched its first attacks against government installations on 16 December 1961. It was subsequently classified as a terrorist organisation by the South African government and the United States, and banned.For a time it was headquartered in the affluent suburb of Rivonia, in Johannesburg. On 11 July 1963, 19 ANC and Umkhonto we Sizwe leaders, including Nelson Mandela, Arthur Goldreich and Walter Sisulu, were arrested at Liliesleaf Farm, Rivonia. The farm was privately owned by Arthur Goldreich and bought with South African Communist Party and ANC funds, as individuals who were not white were unable to own a property in that area under the Group Areas Act. This was followed by the Rivonia Trial, in which ten leaders of the ANC were tried for 221 militant acts designed to "foment violent revolution". Wilton Umkhonto we Sizwewayi, chief of Umkhonto we Sizwe at the time, escaped during trial.
Umkhonto we Sizwe was integrated into the South African National Defence Force by 1994.Viking Age arms and armour
Knowledge about military technology of the Viking Age (end of 8th- to mid-11th-century Europe) is based on relatively sparse archaeological finds, pictorial representation, and to some extent on the accounts in the Norse sagas and laws recorded in the 14th century.
According to custom, all free Norse men were required to own weapons, as well as permitted to carry them at all times. Indeed, the Hávamál, purported to be sage advice given by Odin, states "Don't leave your weapons lying about behind your back in a field; you never know when you may need all of sudden your spear."As war was the most prestigious activity in Viking Age Scandinavia, beautifully finished weapons were an important way for a warrior to display his wealth and status. A wealthy Viking would likely have a complete ensemble of a spear, a wooden shield, and either a battle axe or a sword. The very richest might have a helmet; other armour is thought to have been limited to the nobility and their professional warriors. The average farmer was likely limited to a spear, shield, and perhaps a common axe or a large knife or seax. Some would also bring their hunting bows (mostly long bow or flat bow) to use in the opening stages of battle.Wolfenstein 3D
Wolfenstein 3D is a first-person shooter video game developed by id Software and published by Apogee Software and FormGen. Originally released on May 5, 1992 for MS-DOS, it was inspired by the 1981 Muse Software video game Castle Wolfenstein, and is the third installment in the Wolfenstein series. In Wolfenstein 3D, the player assumes the role of Allied spy William "B.J." Blazkowicz during World War II as he escapes from the Nazi German prison Castle Wolfenstein and carries out a series of crucial missions against the Nazis. The player traverses each of the game's levels to find an elevator to the next level or kill a final boss, fighting Nazi soldiers, dogs, and other enemies with knives and a variety of guns.
Wolfenstein 3D was the second major release by id Software, after the Commander Keen series of episodes. In mid-1991, programmer John Carmack experimented with making a fast 3D game engine by restricting the gameplay and viewpoint to a single plane, producing Hovertank 3D and Catacomb 3-D as prototypes. After a design session prompted the company to shift from the family-friendly Keen to a more violent theme, programmer John Romero suggested remaking the 1981 stealth shooter Castle Wolfenstein as a fast-paced action game. He and designer Tom Hall designed the game, built on Carmack's engine, to be fast and violent, unlike other computer games on the market at the time. Wolfenstein 3D features artwork by Adrian Carmack and sound effects and music by Bobby Prince. The game was released through Apogee in two sets of three episodes under the shareware model, in which the first episode is released for free to drive interest in paying for the rest. An additional episode, Spear of Destiny, was released as a stand-alone retail title through FormGen.
Wolfenstein 3D was a critical and commercial success, garnering numerous awards and selling over 200,000 copies by the end of 1993. It has been termed the "grandfather of 3D shooters", and is widely regarded as having helped popularize the first-person shooter genre and establishing the standard of fast-paced action and technical prowess for many subsequent games in the genre, as well as showcasing the viability of the shareware publishing model at the time. FormGen developed an additional two episodes for the game, while Apogee released a pack of over 800 fan-created levels. Id Software never returned to the series, but did license the engine to numerous other titles before releasing the source code for free in 1995, and multiple other games in the Wolfenstein series have been developed by other companies since 2001.Woomera (spear-thrower)
A woomera is a wooden Australian Aboriginal spear-throwing device. Similar to an atlatl, it serves as an extension of the human arm, enabling a spear to travel at a greater speed and force than possible with only the arm.