Throwing stick

The throwing stick or throwing club is a wooden rod with either a pointed tip or a spearhead attached to one end, intended for use as a weapon. A throwing stick can be either straight or roughly boomerang-shaped, and is much shorter than the javelin. It became obsolete as slings and bows became more prevalent, except on the Australian continent, where the native people continued refining the basic design. Throwing sticks shaped like returning boomerangs are designed to fly straight to a target at long ranges, their surfaces acting as airfoils. When tuned correctly they do not exhibit curved flight, but rather they fly on an extended straight flight path. Straight flight ranges greater than 100 meters have been reported by historical sources as well as in recent research.

Aboriginal craft
Aboriginal craft: throwing sticks
Maler der Grabkammer des Nacht 006
Hunting birds with throwing sticks in ancient Egypt

Distribution

MNH - Mencey-Stab
Throwing baton of a Guanche mencey (king)

The ancient Egyptians used throwing sticks to hunt small game and waterfowl, as seen in several wall paintings. The 18th-dynasty pharaoh Tutankhamun was a known lover of duck hunting and used the throwing stick in his hunts, and a number of throwing sticks were found in the tombs of pharaohs. Menceys, the kings of the ancient Guanches of the Canary Islands, also used throwing batons. Gimel, the third letter of many Semitic alphabets, may have been named after a weapon that was either a staff sling or a throwing stick, ultimately deriving from a Proto-Sinaitic glyph based on an Egyptian hieroglyph.

The Aborigines of Australia are well-known for their use of the boomerang. Although returning boomerangs are found in many Aboriginal cultures and will return to the user if thrown properly, the choice weapon of the Aborigines and most cultures was the heavy throwing stick, known internationally as the kylie. It was primarily used to kill kangaroos, wallabies, and emus from afar, though it could also be swung like a club.

Some Native American tribes such as the Hopi, as well as all southern California tribes,[1] utilized the throwing stick to hunt rabbits and occasionally deer.

Though originally designed for hunting and survival, the throwing stick can be used as a weapon in human comflicts, though the heavy non-returning boomerang was the only variant ever to become truly effective against a human opponent.

Survival tool

As a survival tool, the throwing stick is one of the most effective and easiest tools to obtain. It can be used as a digging tool for making fire-pits and underground shelters in addition to its function as a weapon. A curved branch will suffice as a basic throwing stick. Ancient throwing sticks were made of hardwood with a weighted or curved end to one side to impart momentum so the stick stays straight and does not wobble in mid-flight.

Variations

Some variations of the throwing stick are two to three foot long pieces of thick hardwood, usually about the circumference of the user's wrist. When thrown, they spin, creating the image of a blurry disc.

Pommel Point Throwing Sticks are noted for their slightly blunt points that can crush skulls if thrown at sufficient speed. Thus, it is also dubbed the skull crusher throwing stick.

Return boomerangs have a flat convex surface that must be thrown upright with a sharp flick of the wrist, but throwing sticks are thrown horizontally.

See also

  • Boomerang – closely related to advanced throwing sticks, but with curved flight paths instead of straight ones
  • Woomera – Aboriginal variant of the spear-thrower

References

  1. ^ "GERARDO ALDAMA JR KUMEYAAY California Indian Rabbit Sticks". www.kumeyaay.info.
Aklys

The aklys (Latin aclys, Greek agkulis) was a Roman javelin measuring approximately 2 m (79 in, 6.6 ft) in length, thrown with the aid of a leather strap or amentum, similar to a Swiss arrow. Every soldier was issued at least two. The term also applies to a small mace or club equipped with spikes, attached to one arm of the wielder by a strap of adjustable length to enable the weapon to be retrieved after it had been hurled at an enemy. Its use probably goes back to the Osci tribe of southern Italy.The weapon is also described as a dart and as a throwing stick or boomerang.

Bare Island projectile point

The Bare Island projectile point is a stone projectile point of prehistoric indigenous peoples of North America. It was named by Fred Kinsey in 1959 for examples recovered at the Kent-Halley site on Bare Island in Pennsylvania.

Boomerang

A boomerang is a thrown tool, typically constructed as a flat airfoil, that is designed to spin about an axis perpendicular to the direction of its flight. A returning boomerang is designed to return to the thrower. It is well known as a weapon used by Indigenous Australians for hunting.

Boomerangs have been historically used for hunting, as well as sport and entertainment. They are commonly thought of as an Australian icon, and come in various shapes and sizes.

Celt (tool)

In archaeology, a celt is a long, thin, prehistoric, stone or bronze tool similar to an adze, a hoe or axe-like tool.

Cumberland point

A Cumberland point is a lithic projectile point, attached to a spear and used as a hunting tool. These sturdy points were intended for use as thrusting weapons and employed by various mid-Paleo-Indians (c. 11,000 BP) in the Southeastern US in the killing of large game mammals.

Gimel

Gimel is the third letter of the Semitic abjads, including Phoenician Gīml , Hebrew ˈGimel ג, Aramaic Gāmal , Syriac Gāmal ܓ, and Arabic ǧīm ج (in alphabetical order; fifth in spelling order). Its sound-value in the original Phoenician and in all derived alphabets, save Arabic, is a voiced velar plosive [ɡ]; in Modern Standard Arabic, it represents either a /d͡ʒ/ or /ʒ/ for most Arabic speakers except in Lower Egypt, the southern parts of Yemen and some parts of Oman where it is pronounced as a voiced velar plosive [ɡ] (see below).

In its unattested, yet hypothetical, Proto-Canaanite form, the letter may have been named after a weapon that was either a staff sling or a throwing stick, ultimately deriving from a Proto-Sinaitic glyph based on the hieroglyph below:

The Phoenician letter gave rise to the Greek gamma (Γ), the Latin C and G, and the Cyrillic Г and Ґ.

Grattoir de côté

A Grattoir de côté (translates from French as Side Scraper) is an archaeological term for a ridged variety of steep-scrapers distinguished by a working edge on one side. They were found at various archaeological sites in Lebanon including Ain Cheikh and Jdeideh II and are suggested to date to Upper Paleolithic stages three or four (Antelian).

Grinding slab

In archaeology, a grinding slab is a ground stone artifact generally used to grind plant materials into usable size, though some slabs were used to shape other ground stone artifacts. Some grinding stones are portable; others are not and, in fact, may be part of a stone outcropping.

Grinding slabs used for plant processing typically acted as a coarse surface against which plant materials were ground using a portable hand stone, or mano ("hand" in Spanish). Variant grinding slabs are referred to as metates or querns, and have a ground-out bowl. Like all ground stone artifacts, grinding slabs are made of large-grained materials such as granite, basalt, or similar tool stones.

Hunting weapon

Hunting weapons are weapons designed or used primarily for hunting game animals for food or sport, as distinct from defensive weapons or weapons used primarily in warfare.

Ikara (missile)

The Ikara missile was an Australian ship-launched anti-submarine missile, named after an Australian Aboriginal word for "throwing stick". It launched an acoustic torpedo to a range of 10 nautical miles (19 km), allowing fast-reaction attacks against submarines at ranges that would otherwise require the launching ship to close for attack, placing itself at risk. Also, by flying to the general area of the target, the engagement time was dramatically reduced, giving the target less time to respond. Submariners referred to IKARA as "Insufficient Knowledge And Random Action".

Lamoka projectile point

Lamoka projectile points are stone projectile points manufactured by Native Americans what is now the northeastern United States, generally in the time interval of 3500-2500 B.C. They predate the invention of the bow and arrow, and are therefore not true "arrowheads", but rather atlatl dart points. They derive their name from the specimens found at the Lamoka site in Schuyler County, New York.

Pesse canoe

The Pesse canoe is believed to be the world's oldest known boat, and certainly the oldest known canoe. Carbon dating indicates that the boat was constructed during the early mesolithic period between 8040 BCE and 7510 BCE. It is now in the Drents Museum in Assen, Netherlands.

Plano point

In archeology, Plano point is flaked stone projectile points and tools created by the various Plano cultures of the North American Great Plains between 9000 BC and 6000 BC for hunting, and possibly to kill other humans.

They are bifacially worked and have been divided into numerous sub-groups based on variations in size, shape and function including Alberta points, Cody points, Frederick points, Eden points and Scottsbluff points. Plano points do not include the hollowing or 'fluting' found in Clovis and Folsom points.

Racloir

In archeology, a racloir, also known as racloirs sur talon (French for scraper on the platform), is a certain type of flint tool made by prehistoric peoples.

It is a type of side scraper distinctive of Mousterian assemblages. It is created from a flint flake and looks like a large scraper. As well as being used for scraping hides and bark, it may also have been used as a knife. Racloirs are most associated with the Neanderthal Mousterian industry. These racloirs are retouched along the ridge between the striking platform and the dorsal face. They have shaped edges and are modified by abrupt flaking from the dorsal face.

Throw stick (hieroglyph)

The Throw stick hieroglyph of Ancient Egypt is an old hieroglyph that dates from the Predynastic Period; it is from the assemblage of hieroglyphs used on the ornamental, or ceremonial cosmetic palettes. It is used on the palettes both as a throwing-stick weapon in the animal hunt being portrayed-(the Hunters Palette), as well as on certain palettes, as a determinative referring to a "foreigner", or "foreign territory".Ancient Libya, just northwestwards from Lower Egypt, and the Libyans were thought to be the first land portrayed, as well as the savannah-desert land hunters.

The original predynastic throwing-stick was a launched club as seen on archaeological palettes, a predynastic stick from Gebelein-(Aphroditopolis), 35 inches (9 dm) long, and 11 ounces, is at the Turin Museum.

Tool stone

In archaeology, a tool stone is a type of stone that is used to manufacture stone tools,

or stones used as the raw material for tools.Generally speaking, tools that require a sharp edge are made using cryptocrystalline materials that fracture in an easily controlled conchoidal manner.

Cryptocrystalline tool stones include flint and chert, which are fine-grained sedimentary materials; rhyolite and felsite, which are igneous flowstones; and obsidian, a form of natural glass created by igneous processes. These materials fracture in a predictable fashion, and are easily resharpened. For more information on this subject, see lithic reduction.

Large-grained materials, such as basalt, granite, and sandstone, may also be used as tool stones, but for a very different purpose: they are ideal for ground stone artifacts. Whereas cryptocrystalline materials are most useful for killing and processing animals, large-grained materials are usually used for processing plant matter. Their rough faces often make excellent surfaces for grinding plant seeds. With much effort, some large-grained stones may be ground down into awls, adzes, and axes.

Uniface

In archeology, a uniface is a specific type of stone tool that has been flaked on one surface only. There are two general classes of uniface tools: modified flakes—and formalized tools, which display deliberate, systematic modification of the marginal edges, evidently formed for a specific purpose.

Yubetsu technique

The Yubetsu technique (湧別技法, Yūbetsu gihō) is a special technique to make microblades, proposed by Japanese scholar Yoshizaki in 1961, based on his finds in some Upper Palaeolithic sites in Hokkaido, Japan, which date from c. 13,000 bp.

The name comes from the Yūbetsu River (湧別川, Yubetsugawa), on the right bank of which the Shirataki (白滝遺跡, Shirataki Iseki) Palaeolithic sites were discovered.

To make microblades by this technique, a large biface is made into a core which looks like a tall carinated scraper. Then one lateral edge of the bifacial core is removed, producing at first a triangular spall. After, more edge removals will produce ski spalls of parallel surfaces.

This technique was also used from Mongolia to Kamchatka Peninsula during the later Pleistocene.

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