The good people from the Texas Archeological Society did a demonstration at McKinney Falls State Park at throwing an ancient Aztec weapon called the Atlatl. It’s a simple, prehistoric throwing device designed to hurl a spear further and with more power than a man can do on his own. It hooks into the end of a spear, thus extending the man’s arm and creating a surprising amount of leverage and force. The team created the tool in the traditional way, using bone and leather to provide grip on the spear. Today, the spear is simply two modern arrows screwed together. You hook your fingers into the grip, load the spear, cock it behind your head and throw it in an overhand motion, similar to throwing a football. The spear travels a surprising distance. Aiming at and actually hitting the dummy deer and javalina is quite something else, as I quickly found out. Meeting these people, learning about the weapon, and trying to hit the target was a lot of fun. Helping to keep the memory of ancient cultures alive is just one of the many goals of the Texas Archeological Society.
The Texas Archeological Society is dedicated to the study and preservation of the historic and prehistoric aspects of Texas’ past. I feel a kinship with them, as the mission of Living Witness is to preserve our history and our natural wonders through the preservation of the historic trees of Texas. To learn about and support the Texas Archeological Society go to their website.