Mammoth spear thrower

The Mammoth spear thrower in the British Museum.

The Mammoth spear thrower is a spear thrower in the form of a Mammoth, discovered at the rock shelter of Montastruc, Tarn-et-Garonne, France. It is from the late Magdalenian period and around 12,500 years old. It now forms part of the Christy Collection in the British Museum.[1]



The spear thrower was carved from a reindeer antler and depicts a Mammoth with a hole for an eye which probably held a bone or stone insert originally. The hook has been repaired after the antler from which it was carved broke. The tusks of the Mammoth appear on each side but have mostly been lost due to damage. It is about 12cm in length.[1]

Spear throwers were first used in western Europe about 18,000 years ago and enabled hunters to launch spears with more force and speed than if they threw just by hand. It was common for them to be decorated with animal carvings.[1]

See also


  1. ^ a b c Spear thrower carved as a mammoth. British Museum 2011. Retrieved 14 September 2011.

Further reading

  • Sieveking, Ann. A catalogue of Palaeolithic art in the British Museum. London: British Museum Publications, 1987. ISBN 071411376X

External links