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atlatl

[aht-laht-l] /ˈɑtˌlɑt l/
noun, Archaeology
1.
spear-thrower (def 2).
Origin
1870-1875
1870-75; < Nahuatl ahtlatl
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Word Origin and History for atlatls

atlatl

n.

Native American throwing stick, 1871, from Nahuatl (Aztec) atlatl "spear-thrower."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Article for atlatls

atlatl

a device for throwing a spear (or dart) usually consisting of a rod or board with a groove on the upper surface and a hook, thong, or projection at the rear end to hold the weapon in place until its release. Its purpose is to give greater velocity and force to the spear. In use from prehistoric times, the spear-thrower was used to efficiently fell animals as large as the mammoth.

Learn more about atlatl with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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