Blackwater Draw Atlatl 2013

A few photos from the Blackwater Draw Atlatl 2013.

Atlatl 2013

The 2013 Blackater Draw Atlatl Competition is this Saturday, October 26th.

photo Atlatl poster oct 26Eastern New Mexico University is hosting the 13th Annual Fall Atlatl Competition on Saturday, Oct. 26, at the Blackwater Draw Archaeological Site on Highway 467 between Clovis and Portales near Oasis State Park.

The gates open and practice begins at 9 a.m., followed by the competition at 10 a.m.  Those not wishing to compete are still welcome to make casual throws.  Atlatls will be provided.

Sponsored by Mu Alpha Nu and the Blackwater Draw Historic Landmark, admission is free and open to the public.

An atlatl is a primitive device for throwing a spear or dart that consists of a rod or board with a projection as a hook at the rear end to hold the weapon in place until released.  This extra length allows the thrower to throw the dart over a longer distance at higher speeds.

A BBQ in Portales will be provided for participants at approximately 5 p.m.  The location will be announced during the competition.

For more information, call George Crawford at (office) 575.356.5235 or (cell) or email

Mastodon State Park

This weekend Mastodon State Park, a location of Pleistocene age fossil deposits, in Imperial, Missouri will be featuring “Archaeology Days”.  Admission is free and activities include demonstrations on flintknapping, rock art, and clothing manufacture.  Additionally, visitors will have the opportunity to use an atlatl and take a guided tour of the excavation site.

If you’re in the neighborhood or plan on being in the Imperial, Missouri area on Sept. 24-25 you should stop by and enjoy the festivities.  Links to the website and a youtube video of the park can be found below.!

Blackwater Draw Fall Atlatl Competition 2011

Join us at the Blackwater Draw site for the

11th Annual Fall Atlatl Competition.

Whether you are new to dart throwing or have been at it for years, everyone is invited to participate in the 2011 Atlatl Throw.  Learn more from the World Atlatl Association.

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  • The event will be held October 22nd at the Blackwater Draw Archaeological site on New Mexico Highway 467.
  • Gates open and registration to compete begins at 9:00 am.
  • Practice targets open at 9:00.
  • Throwing teams for men, women, and youth.
  • Field round competition beginning around 10:00 am and will continue through the afternoon.
  • ISAC in the afternoon.
  • Casual throwing available all day as targets become free.

Atlatl and spearthrowers of all types welcome.  (No stone tips please).

2010 Competition

2009 Competition

2008 Competition

New Mexico Prehistory 2011

Thanks to all who braved the heat to come out for the New Mexico Prehistory Weekend this year.  Pottery firing was done off-site due to an open flame ban but the results were remarkable.  The work of Ulysses Reid is not to be missed.


Dung and Osage Orange scraps.

After burn.

The finished product.

Cleaned up and on display.

Many folks were introduced to the spear thrower (atlatl).

Bead working demonstrated.

General pre-industrial technology of the southwest was covered.

And, as always, yucca fiber art was a big hit.

There was a large turn out of knappers (ooga booga to you all), archery, native plant talks, and horn working.

I was remiss in taking photos so if anyone would like to contribute, we would be glad to post them.

Thanks to all who participated.