Musée du Malgré-Tout
Musée du Malgré-Tout
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The Spearthrower

From reindeer to Kangaroo hunters

Expo propulseur

The spearthrower is a long forgotten weapon, except for a few archaeologists and re-enactment enthusiasts... Yet it was used for thousands of years throughout the world for hunting, fishing and... warfare.

This launching weapon consists of a rod or board of varying shape, fitted with a holding structure (hook, spur, groove...), on or into which a projectile is positioned: spear, harpoon or long arrow. Projectile and spearthrower types are closely linked, as well as their usage.

Through the displays of this exhibition, you will travel from the extraordinary world of prehistoric hunters in Europe, where the spearthrower appeared some 24,000 years ago, to the deserts of the Australian Aborigines, the swamps of New Guinea's Papuans and the frozen expanses of the Arctic Inuit, to the Amazon forests and North America's Great Basin Plains. The spearthrower is a tribute to human ingenuity and adaptability to very diverse and sometimes extreme environments.

The exhibition features outstanding prehistoric and ethnographic material from all over the world while illustrated posters provide the documentary framework: how it was used, photos and archive documents, didactic drawings...