spearthrower

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English[edit]

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Etymology[edit]

From spear + thrower.

Alternative forms[edit]

Noun[edit]

spearthrower (plural spearthrowers)

  1. (anthropology, archaeology) A hand-held tool used as a lever to increase the throwing distance and penetrating force of a spear or dart, an atlatl; a woomera.
    • 1988, Joyce A, Tyldesley, S. R. Snape, Nazlet Tuna: An Archaeological Survey in Middle Egypt, British Archaeological Reports International Series: 414, page 50,
      The broad spearthrowers and the long spearthrowers, depicted in ‘early’ and ‘late’ styles respectively, can likewise be related to Cundy′s analysis.
    • 2007, Elizabeth Hill Boone, Cycles of Time and Meaning in the Mexican Books of Fate, page 58,
      The bearer usually also holds a spearthrower (atlatl), fashioned as an arm-length wand that has circular white (shell) finger holds and a hooked end to launch the spears; these spearthrowers may be embellished with eagle feathers and down balls (Fig. 19ac).
    • 2010, Dale Kerwin, Aboriginal Dreaming Paths and Trading Routes: The Colonisation of the Australian Economic Landscape, page 10,
      In the Bunjilaka Gallery of the Melbourne Museum the spearthrower, shown in Figure 4, is on display. The lines on the spearthrower interpret the Journey of the Great Snake Liru, a Dreamtime ancestor.
  2. The separate handle of an atlatl.

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