Go to content
Société rimouskoise du patrimoineImages de drone haute précisionCube NoirL'ALT Numérique DesjardinsDigital Museums Canada

Atlatl weights

A spear-thrower, or atlatl, is used to launch weapons, such as spears and harpoons, needed in hunting or warfare. It usually consists of a rod with a hook at the end to hold the weapon. Adding a weight to the atlatl increases the force of the launch, allowing greater throwing distances. An atlatl weight is made of stone with a hole drilled in the centre to fit on the spear-thrower.

This type of winged atlatl weight, called a bannerstone, is characteristic of the Laurentian culture of the late Archaic Period, more precisely between 5500 and 3000 BP. Atlatls may even have had ritual and symbolic significance, as some have been found in burial ceremonies.


Date: Unknown

Origin: Unknown

Owner: Vieux moulin—Hydromellerie et miellerie. “Musée de la Neufve-France” private collection. Sainte-Flavie.


Gouvernement du Québec. (n.d.). Poids de propulseur [Atlatl weights]. Répertoire du patrimoine culturel du Québec. Retrieved September 10, 2022, https://www.patrimoine-culturel.gouv.qc.ca/detail.do?methode=consulter&id=231163&type=bien

Illustration: Atlatl weights