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

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

Artifact of the Week 2/28/2011

LA3324.32904: Unfluted Folsom projectile point fragment made of Alibates agate.

This artifact was excavated from the Blackwater Draw North Bank in 1963 by J. Collins.  This fragment was found in the Folsom-age horizon just 36 cm (14 inches) below the Agate Basin stratigraphic unit.

Alibates chert, sometimes called “flint”, is better described as an agatized dolomite.  The Alibates Flint Quarries located near Amarillo, TX is the source for this raw material.

To learn more about this commonly used raw material, visit Alibates Flint Quarries National Monument.

Artifact of the Week

Folsom bases (3)

Three Folsom-age projectile point bases from various areas of the Blackwater Draw site.

  • LA3324.5036 (top left) was excavated in 1989 during investigations of the South Bank.  This projectile point base was found in association with extinct bison.
  • LA3324.24134 (top right) was discovered during the 1962-1963 F. E. Green excavations of the North Bank.  This projectile point fragment is highly polished from spring activity.
  • LA3324.32864 (bottom) was discovered in 1962 by J. Hester during the El Llano Archaeological Society excavation of the North Bank.

All three of these projectile point fragments are made of Edwards Plateau chert from central Texas.

Stay tuned for more artifacts from the Clovis site!