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Anthropology Students Compete in Ancient Spear Throwing

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Anthropology Students Compete in Ancient Spear Throwing

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Category: Features

Published: Oct 26 2018 12:07PM

On Wednesday, October 24, in celebration of Humanities Days, MC Anthropology professors and students competed in an atlatl (ancient spear thrower) competition on the Germantown Campus. Anthropology, the study of humans past and present, is known as the most humanistic of the sciences and the most scientific of the humanities. In order to understand the past, anthropologists have learned to make and use ancient weapons and tools. The atlatl is one of the many prehistoric weapons anthropologists have revived to better understand prehistoric culture including subsistence, cooperation and art. Some ancient atlatls are beautifully carved, often with images of ancient wildlife. Atlatls are found in archaeological sites throughout the world. (The word atlatl is Nahautl, historically the Aztec language.) Anthropology professor Ron Nunn, who has conducted research in Kenya and India, showed the participants how to throw modern spears made from metal using the wooden atlatls. Students successfully threw the spears, and some even hit the targets.

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