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Amentum War Javelin: Primitive Atlatl Killer? (Read 421 times)
WannabeBushcrafter
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Amentum War Javelin: Primitive Atlatl Killer?
Aug 15th, 2022 at 10:36am
 
After crafting and practicing with the primitive Javelin for a couple of months, I uploaded this youtube video below comparing the 2 weapons systems and sharing some thoughts as to why Atlatls largely disappeared in Eurasia while Javelins stuck around.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jfnCBzbY2Ig
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AncientCraftwork
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Re: Amentum War Javelin: Primitive Atlatl Killer?
Reply #1 - Aug 16th, 2022 at 3:44am
 
The way westerners recreate atlatls, with their thin small darts and fletched ends, has died out in real world tribal use. The aboriginals make their 'darts' very differently. I recommend to copy them if you want to successfully utilize this platform, they figured it out right and perfected it the technique, and consequently never needed bows. Their atlatl spears can -very succesfully- be used as hand thrown javelins as well as they are much heavier than modern recreationists' darts.
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Hirtius
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Re: Amentum War Javelin: Primitive Atlatl Killer?
Reply #2 - Aug 17th, 2022 at 11:51pm
 
AncientCraftwork wrote on Aug 16th, 2022 at 3:44am:
The way westerners recreate atlatls, with their thin small darts and fletched ends, has died out in real world tribal use. The aboriginals make their 'darts' very differently. I recommend to copy them if you want to successfully utilize this platform, they figured it out right and perfected it the technique, and consequently never needed bows. Their atlatl spears can -very succesfully- be used as hand thrown javelins as well as they are much heavier than modern recreationists' darts.


I think thatís a little unfair. Surviving evidence suggests (including a few surviving darts!) Native Americans used small darts in later periods, smaller than hobbyists do. Atlatl darts also arenít as heavy as you think. I have a monster dart Iíve made, probably as large as anything thatís ever been used. Itís only about 2/3 a pound, and thatís with a 50 gram metal tip.
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Sarosh
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Re: Amentum War Javelin: Primitive Atlatl Killer?
Reply #3 - Aug 18th, 2022 at 1:59am
 
Hirtius wrote on Aug 17th, 2022 at 11:51pm:
Native Americans used small darts in later periods, smaller than hobbyists do

what length and mass did they have?
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joe_meadmaker
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Re: Amentum War Javelin: Primitive Atlatl Killer?
Reply #4 - Aug 18th, 2022 at 10:20pm
 
Hirtius wrote on Aug 17th, 2022 at 11:51pm:
AncientCraftwork wrote on Aug 16th, 2022 at 3:44am:
The way westerners recreate atlatls, with their thin small darts and fletched ends, has died out in real world tribal use. The aboriginals make their 'darts' very differently. I recommend to copy them if you want to successfully utilize this platform, they figured it out right and perfected it the technique, and consequently never needed bows. Their atlatl spears can -very succesfully- be used as hand thrown javelins as well as they are much heavier than modern recreationists' darts.


I think thatís a little unfair. Surviving evidence suggests (including a few surviving darts!) Native Americans used small darts in later periods, smaller than hobbyists do. Atlatl darts also arenít as heavy as you think. I have a monster dart Iíve made, probably as large as anything thatís ever been used. Itís only about 2/3 a pound, and thatís with a 50 gram metal tip.

Another thing to keep in mind is that at 2:34 in the video there is a list of things that the atlatl dart does better.† The reason (or rather part of the reason) for this is because of the darts ability to flex, and the fletchings.† Combined these create a farther and more stable flight.

Now that doesn't mean the dart is better than a javelin.† It depends on the application.† One could definitely be preferable over the other based on circumstances.

Good video WannabeBushcrafter! Thumbs Up
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Slyngorm
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Re: Amentum War Javelin: Primitive Atlatl Killer?
Reply #5 - Aug 19th, 2022 at 1:51am
 
You should do more comparisons between different types of primitive tools. Very cool video.
Hey, gotta update my ranged weapons charts now, cause the sources I consulted were less than accurate.
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WannabeBushcrafter
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Re: Amentum War Javelin: Primitive Atlatl Killer?
Reply #6 - Aug 19th, 2022 at 10:19am
 
Slyngorm wrote on Aug 19th, 2022 at 1:51am:
You should do more comparisons between different types of primitive tools. Very cool video.
Hey, gotta update my ranged weapons charts now, cause the sources I consulted were less than accurate.


Thanks!  Yeah I've been playing around with many primitive weapons designs over the last 5 years.  Perhaps I will do more comparison videos.
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WannabeBushcrafter
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Re: Amentum War Javelin: Primitive Atlatl Killer?
Reply #7 - Aug 19th, 2022 at 10:24am
 
joe_meadmaker wrote on Aug 18th, 2022 at 10:20pm:
Hirtius wrote on Aug 17th, 2022 at 11:51pm:
AncientCraftwork wrote on Aug 16th, 2022 at 3:44am:
The way westerners recreate atlatls, with their thin small darts and fletched ends, has died out in real world tribal use. The aboriginals make their 'darts' very differently. I recommend to copy them if you want to successfully utilize this platform, they figured it out right and perfected it the technique, and consequently never needed bows. Their atlatl spears can -very succesfully- be used as hand thrown javelins as well as they are much heavier than modern recreationists' darts.


I think thatís a little unfair. Surviving evidence suggests (including a few surviving darts!) Native Americans used small darts in later periods, smaller than hobbyists do. Atlatl darts also arenít as heavy as you think. I have a monster dart Iíve made, probably as large as anything thatís ever been used. Itís only about 2/3 a pound, and thatís with a 50 gram metal tip.

Another thing to keep in mind is that at 2:34 in the video there is a list of things that the atlatl dart does better.† The reason (or rather part of the reason) for this is because of the darts ability to flex, and the fletchings.† Combined these create a farther and more stable flight.

Now that doesn't mean the dart is better than a javelin.† It depends on the application.† One could definitely be preferable over the other based on circumstances.

Good video WannabeBushcrafter! Thumbs Up


Thanks!
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Curious Aardvark
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Re: Amentum War Javelin: Primitive Atlatl Killer?
Reply #8 - Aug 24th, 2022 at 6:38am
 
Makes sense to me.

The fixed throwing cord on the javelin is new to me as well.

We always used the swiss arrow apparoach as kids.

But a fixed throwing cord makes a lot more sense.

Yep excellent video.
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Hirtius
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Re: Amentum War Javelin: Primitive Atlatl Killer?
Reply #9 - Aug 25th, 2022 at 2:02am
 
Sarosh wrote on Aug 18th, 2022 at 1:59am:
Hirtius wrote on Aug 17th, 2022 at 11:51pm:
Native Americans used small darts in later periods, smaller than hobbyists do

what length and mass did they have?


The masses typically arenít listed. However, itís likely from my experience that shorter darts require an even smaller diameter to bend properly.

One from Yukon around 6,000 years ago noted for using castoreum from a beaver butt was 1.5 meters.

Another from Utah in the White Dog Cave around 2,000 years ago was 1.4 meters.


There are probably many other examples. Although Iím generalizing a bit since there are relatively few surviving darts, the point sizes seem to support this as well since they also decrease over time. Itís often difficult to tell where dart points stop and arrow points begin.


For reference, modern hobbyists rarely seem to go below 6 ft. (1.8 meters). In Ryan Gillís videos, he even uses darts up to 9 ft (2.7 meters).





Edit:

I spoke too soon, hereís a 2.2 meter dart and 1.84 meter dart from the Yukon.
https://worldatlatl.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/Grohsmeyer-Yukon-darts.pdf
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Curious Aardvark
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Re: Amentum War Javelin: Primitive Atlatl Killer?
Reply #10 - Aug 31st, 2022 at 6:57am
 
Edited:

One from Yukon around 6,000 years ago noted for using castoreum from a beaver butt was 1.5 meters.


It uses a what from a who now ?
Please elaborate Smiley
It can't possibly mean what I think it means !
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Hirtius
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Re: Amentum War Javelin: Primitive Atlatl Killer?
Reply #11 - Aug 31st, 2022 at 5:43pm
 
Castoreum is a substance made from castor sacs, gland like structures around a beaverís butt. Castoreum is used by beavers for communication in scent marking, but for some reason humans decided to use it as part of perfume. Yes, really. The ancient human here was likely using it as an adhesive or something.

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2352409X21001619
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