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Women and men throw spears equally well using ancient atlatl tool


Researchers Michelle Bebber holding an atlatl weapon

Archaeologist Michelle Bebber holding an atlatl

Metin Eren

The atlatl, an ancient spear-throwing tool first used thousands of years ago, enables both women and men to launch projectiles with very similar velocities. The discovery, which comes from modern experiments involving atlatls, provides more evidence that prehistoric female hunters would have been as capable as male hunters of putting meat on the table.

The research started when Michelle Bebber at Kent State University in Ohio began teaching a course in which dozens of students spent a day each semester practising throwing javelins and …

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