Message #253:
From: AzTeC SW Archaeology SIG
To:   "'Matthias Giessler'" 
Subject: Bow and Arrow in the American Southwest
Date: Sat, 10 Aug 96 13:33:00 MST
Encoding: 68 TEXT

>>>From: (Museo de Arte Precolombino) To: Subject: Re: Bow and arrow in the Americas  Date: 
Sat, 10 Aug 96 13:52 SAT.  Dear friends: This is my first message to the 
group and I want to check whether there is interest in American  and 
hunter-gatherer archaeology issues among those of you "out there". I also 
want to pose a problem that seems particularly well-suited for a global 
discussion on INTERNET...As far as I know, there is no rigourous discussion 
in print on the issue, but I have heard several times about the possibility 
of an independent invention of the bow and arrow in different places of the 
Americas. I understand that the bow and arrow show up in Southern Patagonia 
pretty early in time (4000 BP), while they are not known from the present US 
territory before our Era. Is that correct? Does any one has good dates on 
bow and arrow in specific North American sites? What about other parts of 
the Americas?  Any information and/or ideas are welcome!!  Best wishes, 
Francisco Mena, Museo Chileno de Arte Precolombino, Santiago de Chile.

From:  Brian Kenny

Regarding the American Southwest, I recently enjoyed two presentations 
discussing the introduction of the bow and arrow.  Both discussions focused 
on Anasazi-related societies in the American Southwest somewhere during the 
centuries AD 1200-1400.

Steven A. LeBlanc made a presentation at the Southwest Symposium this last 
February. [ See: Article #183: 
"Southwest Symposium, at ASU, Feb 9-10, 1996."  /  Steven LeBlanc can be 
found at ].  In his presentation, 
LeBlanc described endemic warfare in the American Southwest, and the 
aggregation of village populations into large central places.  Smaller 
villages were abandoned and large villages became spaced in a regular 
fashion in the Upper Little Colorado River drainage and Zuni regions of East 
Central Arizona and West central New Mexico.  LeBlanc discussed at length 
the introduction of the bow and arrow to the Southwest, and the 
archaeological evidence for the timing of it's introduction (changes in 
point styles in chronometrically well-dated (and relatively-dated) 
archaeological contexts).  LeBlanc posited that settlement pattern changes 
in this region at this time were a result of people fighting over resources, 
endemic warfare, and the intoduction of a new weapons system -- the recurved 
bow and arrow.

David Wilcox made a brief presentation at the Prescott Archaeology 
Conference this last May. [ See: 
Archaeology Conference, May 10-11, 1996 / David Wilcox is the Curator of 
Archaeology at the Museum of Northern Arizona, Route 4, Box 720, 3001 Fort 
Valley Road, Flagstaff AZ 86001. Phone (520) 774-5213 / FAX (520) 774-1527 
].  Wilcox described "defensive" sites, and the general nature of Cohonina 
Culture sites west of Flagstaff.  Wilcox made a point about the size of 
"defensive" rock walls surrounding sites and how well or poorly they might 
function as a protective structure with the introduction of the bow and 
arrow weapons system.  Wilcox noted that the archaeological evidence was 
equivocal with regard to "defensive" walls being well-suited to protective 
efficiency or retaliatory combat efficiency during episodic warfare or 

There are many references to the bow and arrow in Southwestern archaeology. 
 Perhaps after this message is posted, other Southwestern archaeologists 
will provide commentary about the introduction of the bow and arrow by 
submitting information directly to you, or to the  
SWA SASIG, or to