Prehistoric Technologies Tools and Artifacts from 13,000 Years Ago on Exhibit
Harmon, Elizabeth, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)
Byline: Elizabeth Harmon Daily Herald Correspondent
Most of us have never heard of an atalatl, but the prehistoric hunter wouldn't have left home without one.
"When you throw a spear, your arm only goes so far. What an atalatl does is create an extension of your arm, so instead of being able to throw it 100 or 150 feet, you can throw it 200 or 250 feet," explained archeologist Sara Pfannkuche.
A smart hunter would want to stay as far away from his prey as possible, especially when tracking a mammoth or mastodon.
And while the ancient Americans who lived in McHenry County probably ate more reindeer and caribou, tools like the atalatl made their fight for survival a little easier.
The tools and artifacts of the people who lived here as long as 13,000 years ago will be the focus of an exhibit presented by the Sauk Trail chapter of the Illinois Association for the Advancement of Archeology.
The exhibit, from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday, is displayed at the Powers-Walker House in McHenry County Conservation District's Glacial Park in Ringwood.
This is the third year for the group's "Prehistoric Technologies" event, which is also sponsored by the McHenry County Conservation District. The event is part of a statewide effort to promote September as Archeology Awareness Month.
"A lot of people are like 'oh, there's archeology here?'" said archeologist Clare Tolmie, also a member of the Sauk Trail chapter. "We want to get people more aware of the past."
Archeologists from IAAA and Midwest Archeological Research Services Inc. of Marengo will present demonstrations on flint tool- making, ceramics, and hunting and will also try to identify objects brought in by visitors.
"It's very hands-on. People can try to knock off (rock) flakes at the flint-knapping demonstration and can throw spears at a cutout of a mastodon. …