All inspired by archaeological and ethnographic examples, we have several atlatl design choices here that have been handcrafted with natural and traditional materials.On our previous Atlatls page we have the spears(called darts) made to match these throwers. Below are several replicas of authentic designs, used by a specific culture in a specific environment. We also now have some modern sport thrower designs, which are hybrids of several ancient design elements put together so that any user can experience the atlatl in any environment, including the back yard.
Modern functional atlatl based on the archaeology of ancient Mexico
Here are some examples of atlatl designs from around the world in time and space. Some are strict replicas of museum examples, and others are modern functional atlatls based on ancient designs. New models are still being made by taking the best design elements of different cultures to create modern sport hybrids. We have found that nothing brings archaeology to life more than throwing an atlatl for the first time.
Modern Sport Thrower $28
Our new model is a hybrid of the best design elements used in history. In decades of demos by Occpaleo, this handle style has worked best for new students, and it has worked well in competition too. The main shaft is made in durable and slightly flexible Bamboo. The handle is molded with a grip stop, a dart rest, and a finger peg for easy and consistant grip. See ITEM
PRE-COLUMBIAN STYLE ATLATL $75
Inspired by the archaeology of ancient Mexico, this functional atlatl model uses grips that were molded and cast from the authentic original. In 2011, an authentic shell atlatl finger grip was sent to Occpaleo for molding and casting. It was made out of Spondylus shell, and it dates to the Shaft Tomb Complex(around 2,000 years ago) in Western Mexico. It is almost identical to the shell loops on the famous atlatl that Cortes collected during the Spanish Conquest, which currently resides in the British Museum. Cast in strong modern epoxy, this modern set is fit on a main shaft of Sappele wood which is 23 inches long, in the hafting style of the known examples from Pre-Columbian Meso America. (SEE ITEM)
MESO AMERICAN STYLE ATLATL $75
This atlatl is based on a study of Pre-Colombian atlatls. These fantastic finger grips are epoxy casts, after the authentic originals were sent to Occpaleo for molding and casting in 2011. The originals were carved in Spondylus shell in the shape of a frog. They are from the Shaft Tomb Complex(around 2,000 years old) in the area of Western Mexico. They are now being recognized as perhaps the finest example of shell finger loops known to archaeology. The main shaft is Sappele wood, and is 23 inches long. This is a functional replica, and this style grip allows for the "Basketmaker" style of throwing with ease and durability. (see ITEMS FOR SALE) to pay with credit card, or to join with multiple items.
The "Colima Atlatl" with casts of Frog shell loops
BASKETMAKER STYLE ATLATL $39
The Basketmaker style is named after the cultures of the American southwest. This design is unique to the Americas, and it is the one most found in the Archaeological record, throughout rock art and in dry caves. Our model is based on the average measurements of those recorded, and we have chosen the classic materials of Serviceberry wood and buckskin. The soft loops form an easy to use grip for both left and right handed throwers, and the channel in front of the spur makes this model the easiest to "load" with a dart. This atlatl is a perfect match to our Shepherd model practice darts. To see more pictures, and/or to order with credit card, see (ITEMS FOR SALE) page.
The Classic American Basketmaker Atlatl in Serviceberry and Braintan Buckskin
THE PALEOLITHIC SERIES
The Paleolithic replica/cast series was inspired by our recent trip to France to see the wonderful cave art there. The spear thrower(called propulseurs) components from that region are perhaps the oldest in the world, with some dating back over 20,000 years old. Most of the originals were made in reindeer antler, with some made in mammoth ivory. In this section, we have recreated and interpreted several of the ancient objects so that they might look and function as they would have if their handles and spurs were still attached. The original idea was just to test the design out, but it turns out to be a great functional art piece as well. We hope to add more every year as more trips are made and more artifacts studied. Unlike the previous generation of plaster casts, these replicas are made in a high quality epoxy infused with glass fibers for structural strength. They have actually thrown light darts in testing, but are intended for archaeological display and not prolonged field use.
FAON AUX L'OISEAUX PROPULSEUR REPLICA $45
Our new replica of the most famous paleolithic spear thrower from the caves of Europe. The original was 29.5 cm long, and was carved out of reindeer antler. It was found in the cave of La Mas d'Azil, and dates from the time of the Magdalelian period in France(around 12 to 17,000 years ago. To learn more about the original or to order by credit card(SEE ITEM)
The Springing Horse of Bruniquel $45
This replica in high strength epoxy shows the wonderful craftsmanship of Paleolithic Europe. The original was carved in reindeer antler during the Magdalenian Period(around 12 to 17,000 years ago) in Bruniquel, France. It measures just over 11 inches long, and it was believed to be part of a decorative spear thrower. In addition to being a weapon, this item is considered to be one of the best examples of paleolithic art, showing the potential energy in the folding legs of the jumping horse. (SEE ITEM)
Replica of the "Springing Horse" spear thrower of Paleolithic Europe
On our previous Atlatl main page we offer darts to match these atlatl throwers. On our next page, we offer atlatl weights that can be added to throwers as well as archaeological replicas for collectors.