Dating native american tools weapons
Using this method, which he developed in the late 1990s, Hutchings determined the fracture velocities for 55 out of 668 Paleo-Indian artifacts that he examined.Of these points, about half of them exhibited fracture velocities that can only be achieved using an atlatl and dart or a bow and arrow.Additionally, Paleo-Indians were thought to have hunted big animals, such as mammoths and ground sloths, which would have required powerful, long-distance weapons to take the animals down safely."People started wondering just how crazy you would have to be to run up to these things with just a sharp, broken rock tied to a stick." But archeological evidence of Paleo-Indian atlatls and darts is lacking because these tools were often made of wood, which doesn't preserve well — the only part of the weapons left in the archaeological record are the stone points, which could have also been used in other types of weapons, such as spears, Hutchings said.Researchers have long thought that Paleo-Indians — including the people of the Clovis culture, who lived around 13,000 years ago and are considered one of the first American peoples — also hunted with spear-throwers.Researchers reasoned that "if the spear-thrower originated in the Old World, then it only made sense that it must have shown up with early [North American] colonists," Hutchings said.Telltale fractures To see if the earliest North Americans — including people from the Clovis culture, Folsom culture (10,000 to 11,000 years ago) and other Paleo-Indians — used atlatls, Hutchings analyzed the fractures present in hundreds of spear points.
Hutchings detailed his findings in the March issue of the Journal of Archaeological Science.
Because Paleo-Indians aren't thought to have had bows and arrows or other propulsive weapons, the findings suggest that they most likely used atlatls to launch their spear points, Hutchings said.
Importantly, the method may also help scientists better understand ancient projectile technologies, by allowing them to trace the origin of the technologies and how they were used across societies and continents.
The new study has implications for scientists' understanding of the way Paleo-Indians lived, researchers say.
To understand the inner workings of extinct hunter-gatherer societies, it's important to first learn how the ancient peoples got the food they ate, because their lives were closely tied to their subsistence activities. No Part of this Website nor any of it's contents may be reproduced in any manner without written permission. Fort Tumbleweed and forttumbleweed are trademarks of Leonard Kubiak.With its focus on the ancient past, archaeology somewhat resembles paleontologythe study of fossils of long-extinct animals, such as dinosaurs.