The hunting stick, or throwstick, goes back to the beginning of human history. Although perfected in Australia, this tool was crucial to the development of people all over the world including the Americas, Egypt, and India. This weapon was used to hunt game on the ground, and birds in the air. A simple stick evolved to a weapon of sophistication, capable of sustained flight and suprising ballistic power.
HeaReplica of Rabbitstick from Pine Tree Cliff, AZ (around 1250 AD)
The throwing stick is certainly one of the first tools used by humans. Perhaps first a simple stick used to dig roots and for self defense. For hunting, a branch was more effective than throwing a rock, allowing more range and ballistic power. Over time, this tool was found to work better with bent branch elbows, and wider and thinner limbs. Trial and error developed airfoils that became as advanced as modern airplane wings, resulting in flight that defied gravity for long distances, was fast enough for running animals, and had enough ballistic power to hunt larger game.
The Mammoth Ivory Boomerang Project
Our first project in throwing technology here was replicating this famous archaeological find from 23,000 years ago, in what is now Poland. The original was made in ivory, and is thought to be a throwing stick for hunting.
Although called a boomerang, it would never have returned in flight and was designed to go in a straight path toward target, with enough ballistic power to cripple even large game animals. Please check out our video here of the testing of our replicas.