Near the American city of Seaside, Oregon, a bunch of Indian artifacts have been literally in plain sight for over a millennium. Known as Par Tee, a region of Chinook and Salish speakers, thousands of tools and Native American weapons have been dug up since the 1970s. But more recently, several objects from Par-Ti - javelin throwers called atlatl - surprised archaeologists with their small size. The find suggests that the training of hunting in Indian tribes began with boys literally from a young age.
During the settlement of the area by Indians between the second and tenth centuries, even before the bow and arrow became the main hunting weapon, it was the atlatl that was widely used. At their core, these are handles that are attached to the spears so that they can be thrown further. But learning to use the atlatl on a hunt, of course, takes a lot of practice.
Archaeologists are still finding new items at Par-Ti, even though it has been nearly 50 years since excavations began. Image: ROBERT LOSEY
Atatly are also found during archaeological excavations in Europe, where they date back to the Upper Paleolithic era, that is, about 30,000 years ago. Most of them are about 50 cm long and are intended for adult hunters. In Par-Tee, they could be used for hunting birds, sea lions and seals, as well as in battles with other Indian tribes. New atlatl finds at Par-Tee are much smaller. Although they were broken into pieces, scientists were able to determine that some of them are less than 20 cm in length. They could not be used by adults, which led researchers to believe that the small atlatlles were made specifically for children.
Atlatli - for both adults and children. Image: ROBERT LOSEY
The presence of children has long been overlooked in archaeological documents, because in fact few people are looking for them. "Children's" archeology - along with "women's" archeology - first began to gain attention in the mid-1970s. But even now they remain something of secondary importance in many archaeological studies.
Children's toys have been found in various parts of the world, and in some places, crudely made ceramic or stone tools indicate the hand of an inept craftsman, perhaps too young.
Fragments of atlatl from Par-Ti. Image: ROBERT LOSEY
The size of the Par-Tee atlatlles is a real proof of the training of Indian teenagers to hunt. Apparently, the Indians began to use different hunting tricks as early as childhood, so by the time they physically became adults, they were already well versed in this.