Lovelock Cave Atlatl

This is a forum containing information about making atlatl equipment. The tutorials or "build-alongs" were created by forum members so that they
might share information they have learned about making atlatl equipment.

Lovelock Cave Atlatl

ojaiman
Registered User
ojaiman
Registered User
Joined: January 4th, 2018, 7:45 pm

January 4th, 2018, 8:16 pm #1

Normal 0 false false false EN-US JA X-NONE /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:Cambria; mso-ascii-font-family:Cambria; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Cambria; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-language:JA;}
The Lovelock Cave atlatl was found in Nevada in 1911 by a guano miner named Mr. Hart, who, at a later date gave it to someone in Los Angeles, where it seems to have disappeared. The archaeologist M. R. Harrington reports that he made some sketches of the artifact in 1912 from which he made a replica. He then made the three drawings that we have today.
 
The drawings seem to be expertly made with a keen eye for form and proportion so we can only hope that they are accurate too.  This goes for Harrington’s wood working skills too as the drawings are twice removed from the original.
 
In looking over the drawings it seemed to me that the strange distal end seems to have been broken off and then repurposed with the carved notches for (?).  I was also curious about the design of the grip notches and the protuberances on the dorsal and ventral surfaces.  How would that work?
 
I made as close a replica as I could with the thought of “repairing“ the distal end and carving a spur somewhat based on the two broken atlatl ends found at Lovelock Cave.
 
The result is a board that is stronger/stiffer than the Southwest style atlatl and seems capable of launching a much heavier dart.  The grip, which I discovered quite naturally by simply feeling about, came as a surprise.  It reminds me of a baseball grip.  The thumb lies in one notch and is opposed by the middle finger on the other side.   The fit is quite comfortable and strongly connected. 
 
In any case, Harrington’s atlatl is a beautiful, sculptural form that speaks of the intelligence and skill of the ancient hunters.
fork_atlatl7.jpg
DSC_0106.jpg
DSC_0109.jpg
DSC_0107 (3).jpg
fork_atlatl7.jpg DSC_0106.jpg DSC_0109.jpg DSC_0107 (3).jpg
Quote
Like
Share

blancoh0
Registered User
blancoh0
Registered User
Joined: September 11th, 2011, 7:10 pm

January 5th, 2018, 12:39 am #2

ojaiman wrote: Normal 0 false false false EN-US JA X-NONE /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:Cambria; mso-ascii-font-family:Cambria; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Cambria; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-language:JA;}
The Lovelock Cave atlatl was found in Nevada in 1911 by a guano miner named Mr. Hart, who, at a later date gave it to someone in Los Angeles, where it seems to have disappeared. The archaeologist M. R. Harrington reports that he made some sketches of the artifact in 1912 from which he made a replica. He then made the three drawings that we have today.
 
The drawings seem to be expertly made with a keen eye for form and proportion so we can only hope that they are accurate too.  This goes for Harrington’s wood working skills too as the drawings are twice removed from the original.
 
In looking over the drawings it seemed to me that the strange distal end seems to have been broken off and then repurposed with the carved notches for (?).  I was also curious about the design of the grip notches and the protuberances on the dorsal and ventral surfaces.  How would that work?
 
I made as close a replica as I could with the thought of “repairing“ the distal end and carving a spur somewhat based on the two broken atlatl ends found at Lovelock Cave.
 
The result is a board that is stronger/stiffer than the Southwest style atlatl and seems capable of launching a much heavier dart.  The grip, which I discovered quite naturally by simply feeling about, came as a surprise.  It reminds me of a baseball grip.  The thumb lies in one notch and is opposed by the middle finger on the other side.   The fit is quite comfortable and strongly connected. 
 
In any case, Harrington’s atlatl is a beautiful, sculptural form that speaks of the intelligence and skill of the ancient hunters.
I made an Atlatl a while ago from some white tail deer antler and wood from my trees. It is fun to use. I am also trying different wood and tips for the darts. Here is a picture of it.my atlatl htr(1).JPGmy atlatl htr(1).JPG
Quote
Like
Share

ww
Registered User
ww
Registered User
Joined: June 7th, 2016, 6:46 pm

January 5th, 2018, 3:26 am #3

I was also curious about the design of the grip notches and the protuberances on the dorsal and ventral surfaces.  How would that work?
I guess we are depending on you to tell about the protuberances after you do some throwing. The one on the top might be for dart support?
broken off and then repurposed with the carved notches for (?)
a string or small crossmember that would fit an arrow or similar type nock?
nice project, hope you get a chance to post some darts too, and let us know how it throws.
Quote
Like
Share

ojaiman
Registered User
ojaiman
Registered User
Joined: January 4th, 2018, 7:45 pm

January 7th, 2018, 4:35 pm #4

ww wrote:
I was also curious about the design of the grip notches and the protuberances on the dorsal and ventral surfaces.  How would that work?
I guess we are depending on you to tell about the protuberances after you do some throwing. The one on the top might be for dart support?
broken off and then repurposed with the carved notches for (?)
a string or small crossmember that would fit an arrow or similar type nock?
nice project, hope you get a chance to post some darts too, and let us know how it throws.
Yes, others have thought that might be the idea, or perhaps a place to tie on a bone or stone spur.  We will never know.  Maybe Mr. Hart's 11 year old son had a go at it. :)  For me, the crudeness of the distal end compared to the proximal is a puzzle. 
Here is another view.
DSC_0110.jpg
Quote
Like
Share

blancoh0
Registered User
blancoh0
Registered User
Joined: September 11th, 2011, 7:10 pm

January 7th, 2018, 8:19 pm #5

blancoh0 wrote:
ojaiman wrote: Normal 0 false false false EN-US JA X-NONE /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:Cambria; mso-ascii-font-family:Cambria; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Cambria; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-language:JA;}
The Lovelock Cave atlatl was found in Nevada in 1911 by a guano miner named Mr. Hart, who, at a later date gave it to someone in Los Angeles, where it seems to have disappeared. The archaeologist M. R. Harrington reports that he made some sketches of the artifact in 1912 from which he made a replica. He then made the three drawings that we have today.
 
The drawings seem to be expertly made with a keen eye for form and proportion so we can only hope that they are accurate too.  This goes for Harrington’s wood working skills too as the drawings are twice removed from the original.
 
In looking over the drawings it seemed to me that the strange distal end seems to have been broken off and then repurposed with the carved notches for (?).  I was also curious about the design of the grip notches and the protuberances on the dorsal and ventral surfaces.  How would that work?
 
I made as close a replica as I could with the thought of “repairing“ the distal end and carving a spur somewhat based on the two broken atlatl ends found at Lovelock Cave.
 
The result is a board that is stronger/stiffer than the Southwest style atlatl and seems capable of launching a much heavier dart.  The grip, which I discovered quite naturally by simply feeling about, came as a surprise.  It reminds me of a baseball grip.  The thumb lies in one notch and is opposed by the middle finger on the other side.   The fit is quite comfortable and strongly connected. 
 
In any case, Harrington’s atlatl is a beautiful, sculptural form that speaks of the intelligence and skill of the ancient hunters.
I made an Atlatl a while ago from some white tail deer antler and wood from my trees. It is fun to use. I am also trying different wood and tips for the darts. Here is a picture of it.my atlatl htr(1).JPGmy atlatl htr(1).JPG
Quote
Like
Share

blancoh0
Registered User
blancoh0
Registered User
Joined: September 11th, 2011, 7:10 pm

January 7th, 2018, 8:23 pm #6

SAM_0627(1).JPG SAM_0627(1).JPG SAM_0623(1).JPG
Quote
Like
Share

ojaiman
Registered User
ojaiman
Registered User
Joined: January 4th, 2018, 7:45 pm

January 10th, 2018, 1:46 am #7

blancoh0 wrote:
blancoh0 wrote:
ojaiman wrote: Normal 0 false false false EN-US JA X-NONE /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:10.0pt; font-family:Cambria; mso-ascii-font-family:Cambria; mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-hansi-font-family:Cambria; mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin; mso-fareast-language:JA;}
The Lovelock Cave atlatl was found in Nevada in 1911 by a guano miner named Mr. Hart, who, at a later date gave it to someone in Los Angeles, where it seems to have disappeared. The archaeologist M. R. Harrington reports that he made some sketches of the artifact in 1912 from which he made a replica. He then made the three drawings that we have today.
 
The drawings seem to be expertly made with a keen eye for form and proportion so we can only hope that they are accurate too.  This goes for Harrington’s wood working skills too as the drawings are twice removed from the original.
 
In looking over the drawings it seemed to me that the strange distal end seems to have been broken off and then repurposed with the carved notches for (?).  I was also curious about the design of the grip notches and the protuberances on the dorsal and ventral surfaces.  How would that work?
 
I made as close a replica as I could with the thought of “repairing“ the distal end and carving a spur somewhat based on the two broken atlatl ends found at Lovelock Cave.
 
The result is a board that is stronger/stiffer than the Southwest style atlatl and seems capable of launching a much heavier dart.  The grip, which I discovered quite naturally by simply feeling about, came as a surprise.  It reminds me of a baseball grip.  The thumb lies in one notch and is opposed by the middle finger on the other side.   The fit is quite comfortable and strongly connected. 
 
In any case, Harrington’s atlatl is a beautiful, sculptural form that speaks of the intelligence and skill of the ancient hunters.
I made an Atlatl a while ago from some white tail deer antler and wood from my trees. It is fun to use. I am also trying different wood and tips for the darts. Here is a picture of it.my atlatl htr(1).JPGmy atlatl htr(1).JPG
Not to be rude.  But what does this have to do with the Lovelock atlatl?
Quote
Like
Share

ww
Registered User
ww
Registered User
Joined: June 7th, 2016, 6:46 pm

January 10th, 2018, 3:07 am #8

 Maybe Mr. Hart's 11 year old son had a go at it. :)
Actually, you may not be far off. It looks to me, in the sketch, like the damage on the distal end extends into the (previously glued?) repair. I am assuming that the atlatl was reassembled/repaired  from the found parts, and would not surprise me if it was somewhat deteriorated.

Nice workmanship on the replica. How long did you make it from the the spur point  to finger notch?
Quote
Like
Share

ojaiman
Registered User
ojaiman
Registered User
Joined: January 4th, 2018, 7:45 pm

January 15th, 2018, 4:00 pm #9

ww wrote:
 Maybe Mr. Hart's 11 year old son had a go at it. :)
Actually, you may not be far off. It looks to me, in the sketch, like the damage on the distal end extends into the (previously glued?) repair. I am assuming that the atlatl was reassembled/repaired  from the found parts, and would not surprise me if it was somewhat deteriorated.

Nice workmanship on the replica. How long did you make it from the the spur point  to finger notch?
Finger notches to distal end is 19 inches....based on my Basketmaker types.  Don't see any repairs in Harrington's drawing and no mention of reassembly in his excavation notes. Have thought about contacting the Southwest Museum in LA to find out if his original sketches still exist (the one he based his model on) but am loath to do so due to the ongoing turmoil at the institution.
Quote
Like
Share

ww
Registered User
ww
Registered User
Joined: June 7th, 2016, 6:46 pm

January 16th, 2018, 9:19 pm #10

I did not realize that Harrington was involved with the excavation or had made written notes on the find. Have you seen other examples of the type with the rounded thicker section on the bottom? I wonder why it does not extend up to the protuberance on the bottom? and what purpose do you suppose that lower protuberance serves? Its hard to understand just what the shape of the protuberances was, as the views in the sketch do not agree.
Quote
Like
Share

Bill Skinner
Registered User
Bill Skinner
Registered User
Joined: May 1st, 2011, 3:00 am

January 17th, 2018, 5:33 am #11

I think he just may have ended up in the wrong thread by accident.  No harm, no foul.

Back to the OP.  Could the thicker section be to give more surface area to glue and lash a bone/wood/antler hook on the end.  Meaning it was purpose built to have an additional part attached to it?
Quote
Like
Share