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Etymology edit

spear +‎ thrower.

Noun edit

spearthrower (plural spearthrowers)

  1. (anthropology, archaeology) A hand-held tool used as a lever to increase the throwing distance and penetrating force of a spear or dart, an atlatl; a woomera.
    • 1988, Joyce A, Tyldesley, S. R. Snape, Nazlet Tuna: An Archaeological Survey in Middle Egypt, British Archaeological Reports International Series: 414, page 50,
      The broad spearthrowers and the long spearthrowers, depicted in ‘early’ and ‘late’ styles respectively, can likewise be related to Cundy′s analysis.
    • 2007, Elizabeth Hill Boone, Cycles of Time and Meaning in the Mexican Books of Fate, page 58:
      The bearer usually also holds a spearthrower (atlatl), fashioned as an arm-length wand that has circular white (shell) finger holds and a hooked end to launch the spears; these spearthrowers may be embellished with eagle feathers and down balls (Fig. 19ac).
    • 2010, Dale Kerwin, Aboriginal Dreaming Paths and Trading Routes: The Colonisation of the Australian Economic Landscape, page 10:
      In the Bunjilaka Gallery of the Melbourne Museum the spearthrower, shown in Figure 4, is on display. The lines on the spearthrower interpret the Journey of the Great Snake Liru, a Dreamtime ancestor.
  2. The separate handle of an atlatl.

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