Making a Four-Pronged Spear

After making a simple spear I decided I would give a try at making a four-pronged hunting spear. Since this project is so similar to a previous post I will move through some of the steps more quickly. Anyone who is interested in more detail should see my previous post Making a Simple Spear.

First, I selected this small tree and chopped it down with my limestone axe head.

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The thin tree in the center

After this, I peeled the bark off one end and began working to split that end into four tongs. I did this by using a very thin stone flake and hammering it into the end with a stick. Once the flake was lodged all the way in and the split was running a few inches down the shaft, I used another stone flake to create a perpendicular split.

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I pulled the stone shards out then used fresh pine twigs and pulled them down so the shaft split several more inches and the points flared out more. I used pine because it bends easily and, therefore, the pressure of pulling the twigs down the grain of a much larger stick didn’t break them.

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Next, I sharpened the tips of the points with my obsidian knife until they were very sharp and cut the excess off the pine twigs. I left the pine twigs in because if I took them out the four prongs would come back together. The idea behind having a four-pronged spear is that it has more spread than a spear with a single point and, therefore, you have a better chance of getting the frog or fish you are aiming for.

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All I had to do after that was fire-harden it. Please see my previous post to see how fire hardening works. One interesting thing that happened this time is that some of the sap boiled out of the wood when I was hardening it. You can see the burnt sap bubbles in the picture below.

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Pictures of the finished project are below. I didn’t bother stripping all the bark off this time because it took forever last time and the bark on this stick is smoother so I don’t mind leaving it on.

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Please leave a comment below if you have any questions and don’t forget to subscribe if you want to learn Stone Age technologies along with me!

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