noun Archaeology.
spear-thrower ( def 2 ).

1870–75; < Nahuatl ahtlatl Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Word Origin & History

Native American throwing stick, 1871, from Nahuatl (Aztec) atlatl "spear-thrower."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Britannica


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.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
The extra leverage had to have come in handy on a daily basis when hurling an
  atlatl or taking small game with rocks.
The atlatl was a wooden stick with a hook on the end.
Archaeological findings and reproductions displayed here include projectile
  points, the atlatl and pottery.
The ground stone tools include axes, celts, atlatl weights and pestles.
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