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From Classical Nahuatl ahtlatl.
atlatl (plural atlatls)
- A spearthrower consisting of a wooden stick with a thong or perpendicularly protruding hook on the rear end that grips a grove or socket on the butt of its accompanying spear (or dart), intended to steady the spear immediately prior to throwing, to increase its potential range when thrown, and to increase its force of penetration of the target. [from 19th c.]
- 2011, Chris Stringer, The Origin of Our Species, Penguin, published 2012, page 144:
- While large game was still hunted, mainly using projectile spears but later enhanced by atlatls (spear-throwers) and bows and arrows, evidence for the exploitation of small game such as tortoises, rabbits, wild fowl and eggs increased.
- Alternative spelling of ahtlatl