Anthropology, Department of


First Advisor

LuAnn Wandsnider

Date of this Version


Document Type



A thesis presented to the faculty of the Graduate College at the University of Nebraska in partial fulfillment of requirements for the degree of Master of Arts

Major: Anthropology

Under the supervision of Professor LuAnn Wandsnider

Lincoln, Nebraska, May 2013


Copyright (c) 2013, Eric Skov


The sling is a simple, cheap and effective weapon that was widely distributed among prehistoric and historic populations. Well-known archaeological and textual evidence attests to its widespread military usage in Europe, South America, andCentral America. However, ethnographic and archaeological evidence also suggest that the sling was widely distributed among Native American populations. Experimentation presented herein suggests that previous scholarship and experimental efforts have significantly underestimated potential velocity, range and potential damage to target organisms. Given the world-wide distribution of sling technology, revision of basic assumptions of weapon capability can have a profound effect on interpretation of archaeological problems internationally and in contexts ranging from warfare to small-game hunting and children’s play.

Adviser: LuAnn Wandsnider