The discovery of child-sized weapons at a site in Oregon is shedding new light on ancient Native American childhood.
A new analysis of items recovered from the Par-Tee archaeological site at the mouth of the Columbia River revealed fragments of a number of atlatls; throwing tools that increased the velocity of darts.
“Until the invention of the bow and arrow, these ancient dart-throwing weapons were the pinnacle of projectile weaponry and their proper use was key to survival,” the researchers said in a statement emailed to Fox News.
Because the atlatls found at Par-Tee varied greatly in size, archaeologists concluded that many of them were designed to be used by children.
“Basically, they scaled-down their atlatls so they were more easily usable is small hands,” said lead author Robert Losey, associate professor of anthropology at the University of Alberta and lead author of a study on the weapons, in the statement. “This helped children master the use of these weapons.”
The weapons date back to between 100 and 800 A.D.
A paper on the research is published in the journal Antiquity.
In recent years, experts have been unearthing new details of centuries-old Native American sites. An ancient Native American village in Louisiana, for example, is revealing its secrets thanks to new research.
In another project, archaeologists discovered incredible evidence of a huge Wichita Indian town in Kansas that was once home to 20,000 people. In a separate project, archaeologists discovered an “unprecedented” 7,000-year-old Native American burial site beneath the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Florida.
The ancient people of North America started building mounds as early as 4,500 B.C., experts say.
In 2016, researchers at the Cahokia Mounds near Collinsville, Ill., released a study that sheds new light on the ancient city’s power structure.
Last year a perfectly-preserved 1,000-year-old hunter’s dart was discovered in a melting ice patch in Canada’s remote Yukon Territory.
Fox News’ Travis Fedschun contributed to this article.
Follow James Rogers on Twitter @jamesjrogers