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The atlatl is a device that uses leverage to allow a thrower to attain greater speed and distance when throwing a spear. It consists of a shaft with a groove running along the top, in which the spear rests, and a cup at one end, into which the butt of the spear fits. In use, it is held near the far end from the cup, and the wrist is flicked to send the spear on its way. Some later improvements on the original, simple design included loops of thong to fit the fingers.

The atlatl is believed to have been in use for some 40,000 years, although the oldest one found to date is only about 19,000 years old. It has mostly been used by early Native Americans, and is also used by the Australian Aborigines, known to them as a woomera. It has usually been replaced by the bow and arrow after their introduction.

In modern times, some people have resurrected atlatl use as a sport, throwing for distance and/or accuracy. Throws of almost 260 m (850 ft.) have been recorded.

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