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Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Ancient Archery Practices of the Greater Southwest
by Parks, Justin T., M.A., Northern Arizona University, 2017, 175; 10282641
Abstract (Summary)

Limited research has been conducted on the perishable components of prehistoric archery. Current depictions of ancient southwestern bows by archaeologists suggest the technology was weak and undeveloped. Previous analysis work on the wooden remains of bows consist of a low sample size and lack structured or detailed analysis methods.

This thesis examines the performance characteristics of the prehistoric bow and arrow within the Greater Southwest to determine the range of variability in the design and use of surviving archery technology. The methods employed in this thesis involved the detailed analysis of 65 prehistoric bows using both quantitative and qualitative measures to establish design parameters. A sample of prehistoric bows was then replicated to determine how changes in design affect the performance of the technology.

Results of the analysis indicate one third of southwestern archery technology was better refined, rigorous and efficient than previous depictions. The findings highlight discrete manufacturing sequences based on types of bows and differences in the lethal capability of the technology. Types range from small bows intended for use by children for small game to large bows designed for large scale hunting and warfare activities. A review of the ethnographic literature of local cultures demonstrates strong cultural continuity between the prehistoric past and ethnographic present in wood choice and bow design despite the introduction of the recurved bow and the colonial expansion of Europeans and firearms.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Downum, Christian E.
Commitee: Downum, Christian E., Kellner, Corina M., Smiley, Francis E.
School: Northern Arizona University
Department: Department of Anthropology
School Location: United States -- Arizona
Source: MAI 57/02M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Archaeology, Native American studies
Keywords: Archaeology, Archery, Behavioral, Experimental, Projectile, Southwest
Publication Number: 10282641
ISBN: 978-0-355-67260-2
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