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map of slings and sling related artifacts from archaeological sites (Read 1308 times)
TobyAttle
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map of slings and sling related artifacts from archaeological sites
May 31st, 2017 at 6:15pm
 
Here is a map of slings and sling related artifacts from archaeological sites around the world. Data from Manfred Korfman. Map created by Eric T. Scov.
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TobyAttle
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Re: map of slings and sling related artifacts from archaeological sites
Reply #1 - May 31st, 2017 at 6:19pm
 
This map is of slings and sling related artifacts from archaeological sites in the Great Basin. Data from Heizer and Johnson. Map created by Eric T. Scov.
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Morphy
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Re: map of slings and sling related artifacts from archaeological sites
Reply #2 - May 31st, 2017 at 7:00pm
 
Very interesting. I wonder if its possible to correlate these spots with any external features. Such as availability of smooth stones. I wouldnt think theres a 1:1 correlation but it would make sense that the sling would be used more in such areas.
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« Last Edit: Jun 1st, 2017 at 2:38pm by Morphy »  

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TobyAttle
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Re: map of slings and sling related artifacts from archaeological sites
Reply #3 - May 31st, 2017 at 8:59pm
 
That is an interesting hypothesis the slings definitely seem to be centered around the equator and coasts and river basins, smooth stones would be readily available here and but are also centers of population throughout history, so it could also just be a coincidence. What information does correlate with external features are the materials the slings are made out of. The sling materials reflect the available resources in geographical areas. African slings are usually made completely out of plant material, while slings in arctic regions like Siberia are almost completely made of hide and sinews
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Re: map of slings and sling related artifacts from archaeological sites
Reply #4 - Jun 1st, 2017 at 3:59am
 
Does just go to show that, although the Bealeric Isles get all the fame, the sling really is an international invention.
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Re: map of slings and sling related artifacts from archaeological sites
Reply #5 - Jun 1st, 2017 at 2:46pm
 
TobyAttle wrote on May 31st, 2017 at 8:59pm:
That is an interesting hypothesis the slings definitely seem to be centered around the equator and coasts and river basins, smooth stones would be readily available here and but are also centers of population throughout history, so it could also just be a coincidence. What information does correlate with external features are the materials the slings are made out of. The sling materials reflect the available resources in geographical areas. African slings are usually made completely out of plant material, while slings in arctic regions like Siberia are almost completely made of hide and sinews


I guess one way to find out would be to use the areas that dont have access to stones as controls and then compare the ratio of access vs lack of access and see if theres any correlation. Ive had an idea about something I call niche weapons for awhile. The idea is basically a study of why certain cultures use certain tools and what niches exist that each tool fills. Most cultures will have similar niches but based on the enviorment will fill those niches with different tools. Everything seems to come down to cost/benefit analysis and the sling is one of the best examples.  With exetremely high costs and benefits.
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TobyAttle
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Re: map of slings and sling related artifacts from archaeological sites
Reply #6 - Jun 1st, 2017 at 11:40pm
 
Morphy wrote on Jun 1st, 2017 at 2:46pm:
TobyAttle wrote on May 31st, 2017 at 8:59pm:
That is an interesting hypothesis the slings definitely seem to be centered around the equator and coasts and river basins, smooth stones would be readily available here and but are also centers of population throughout history, so it could also just be a coincidence. What information does correlate with external features are the materials the slings are made out of. The sling materials reflect the available resources in geographical areas. African slings are usually made completely out of plant material, while slings in arctic regions like Siberia are almost completely made of hide and sinews


I guess one way to find out would be to use the areas that dont have access to stones as controls and then compare the ratio of access vs lack of access and see if theres any correlation. Ive had an idea about something I call niche weapons for awhile. The idea is basically a study of why certain cultures use certain tools and what niches exist that each tool fills. Most cultures will have similar niches but based on the enviorment will fill those niches with different tools. Everything seems to come down to cost/benefit analysis and the sling is one of the best examples.  With exetremely high costs and benefits.


Yes, but finding a culture that does not have access to something as simple as stones would be difficult to find. Oceanic peoples and cultures set in far north places covered most of the year by ice might be the closest to a control group, but even they had slings. Many slings have been found in use by Siberian reindeer herders and fishermen, and Filipinos used very long slings. I can not think of a culture that did not use slings, even Bedouin nomads in the Sahara desert made slings to throw rocks when out of the dunes. Your idea about niche weapons though is genius. People will always make inventions to solve problems in their environment.
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Re: map of slings and sling related artifacts from archaeological sites
Reply #7 - Jul 27th, 2017 at 10:15pm
 
The group down in the Florida pan handle in the first map is pretty rock free.  It's basically sand on top of limestone.  It is also the area where ducks and geese migrate to on the Atlantic flyway.  And while there aren't many stone in the area, there is a lot of high grade clay that you don't have to fire.

So, could slings be more for hunting waterfowl in certain areas?
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Re: map of slings and sling related artifacts from archaeological sites
Reply #8 - Nov 27th, 2018 at 5:08am
 
Hi, I know this is a dead topic since 2017, but still...

Reading “Historia de la Honda” by Jesús Vega Hernández I found that he discusses those maps and he has de theory that the area with highest concentration of sling-related artifacts / slinging tradition correlates with the Alpine Orogeny from the Tertiary.

His point is that the use of sling is highly related with its use as a tool by pastoral societies that live around mountain ranges and highlands.

Here we can see two more maps showing the orogeny and the slinging archeological remains.
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Re: map of slings and sling related artifacts from archaeological sites
Reply #9 - Nov 27th, 2018 at 5:09am
 
both sling sites and Alpine mountain ranges.
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Re: map of slings and sling related artifacts from archaeological sites
Reply #10 - Nov 27th, 2018 at 7:45am
 
Now that's interesting. I do think we forget on the forum that slings were for many (most?) cultures a tool used by shepherds. I think we get caught up in the warfare and hunting and forget the "keeping wolves away" uses. I found with the Tibetan slings I have that they would be perfect for throwing a stone at something and in a very obvious way (long sling so big wind-up, have to use heliopter or a similar throw) to maximize scaring off what you are throwing at. For a war or hunting? Far from useless but for herding they're perfect. This correlation makes a lot of sense. Thanks for reviving the post Cheesy
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Re: map of slings and sling related artifacts from archaeological sites
Reply #11 - Dec 3rd, 2018 at 2:33pm
 
Not in N America.  Especially not in the eastern seaboard.  The only domestic animals in that area were dogs and chickens.  And the chickens came up out of Cuba, probably from the Yucatan  Western seaboard had dogs, chickens and turkeys.  No herd animals.

South America had llamas but I'm not sure when they were domesticated or the range.

Pretty sure that in N&S America, it was a hunting/warfare type of tool.

For that matter, pretty sure most of Polynesia didn't have herd animals.
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Re: map of slings and sling related artifacts from archaeological sites
Reply #12 - Dec 3rd, 2018 at 3:16pm
 
Ah I didn't consider the Americas. Good points.
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Samuel
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Re: map of slings and sling related artifacts from archaeological sites
Reply #13 - Dec 4th, 2018 at 5:27am
 
Bill, good point about North America. As for the Andean region, herding was a major activity, very important for their economy and culture, more for the wool than for the meat (even their slings (huaracas) are made out of wool!!!). I learned that South American technology was focused towards textiles: wool, strings, fabric… (they used it to build bridges, tools, of course clothes, and even their written language was about making knots). I would say that for the Andean region the point relating sling use and pastoral society is strong.

About North America I don’t know much, but all the info I’ve got is that the sling was in fact used, but not as widespread as in other regions and in general was a secondary tool/weapon (I might be wrong). One interesting thing about the Americas would be to know if the sling came with the first settlers during the Paleolithic or it was developed entirely separately from “the old world”. (as far as I know nobody knows the exact time when the sling was invented) 

Regarding Polynesian people… well, I don’t know. They had pigs, chicken, dogs (I think). But I wouldn’t call them “herders”. I actually think that there is also some tendency to the use of the sling by islanders (Mediterranean, Polynesian, even Irish…), but it’s just an impression.

For me the general idea is that basically every human society since at least the Neolithic has known the sling and used it to some degree, but there are some economic and ecological aspects (herding, mountain ranges, abrupt terrain, ¿islands?...) that seem to enhance the use of the sling.
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Re: map of slings and sling related artifacts from archaeological sites
Reply #14 - Dec 4th, 2018 at 5:50am
 
Samuel wrote on Dec 4th, 2018 at 5:27am:
For me the general idea is that basically every human society since at least the Neolithic has known the sling and used it to some degree, but there are some economic and ecological aspects (herding, mountain ranges, abrupt terrain, ¿islands?...) that seem to enhance the use of the sling.


Except for Australia. They never developed the sling (or it was developed but didn't take off, was imported but then abandoned quickly or some other variation). Again, they didn't have herds so that might have contributed to it not being needed in their society if they had other tools to cover the other uses of a sling. All speculation though.
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