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Experiments with Spears and Arrows on Animal Targets

George H. Odell and Frank Cowan
Journal of Field Archaeology
Vol. 13, No. 2 (Summer, 1986), pp. 195-212
Published by: Taylor & Francis, Ltd.
DOI: 10.2307/530220
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/530220
Page Count: 18
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Experiments with Spears and Arrows on Animal Targets
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Abstract

Despite the considerable attention that archaeologists have given the formal and typological aspects of prehistoric projectile points, relatively little research has been done concerning their functional aspects. To better understand the effectiveness and penetrating characteristics of, and damage to, different projectile tips, an extensive experimental program was conducted. Both shaped and unmodified chert tips were hafted onto arrow- and spearshafts and propelled into dead animals. The results led to recognition of differences in damage patterns, the importance of certain variables for projectile point longevity, and the penetration potential of specific kinds of projectile heads.

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