This is a well-provenanced set of FOUR Pre-Columbian West Mexico Shaft-Tomb Culture bifacial atlatl spearheads. Three are made from obsidian (one being TRANSLUCENT!), and there is one rare one made of basalt of amazing workmanship and extreme thinness! If you are a discriminating collector, these are all top-shelf specimens of different forms and typologies. The basalt example is especially scarce!
All of these atlatl points were high-graded out of a large collection! They would have been wrapped and hafted onto an atlatl shaft. All display expert knapping to yield fine symmetry. These atlatl projectile points were found in the Lake Sayula Region of Jalisco, Mexico and come from the famous Dr. Allen Heflin Collection, formed from his work in Mexico from 1946 into the 1970's. Stone projectile points from Pre-Columbian cultures are rarely preserved in this fine condition and are much scarcer than realized.
Intact mineral deposits in micro-crevices are a testament to its age and lack of any modern alterations.
No lithic type is more mesmerizing and flakes as beautifully as obsidian. It was so highly prized by all the Central American Pre-Columbian cultures and for good reason. The sharpest cutting edge of any substance in the world, can only be obtained with obsidian. Obsidian is unique in that it can be flaked down to one molecule in width, hence the popularity with this incredible material in Pre-Columbian weapons and tools. Even today, obsidian scalpels are still used in modern medicine throughout the world.
The Atlatl or Spear (Dart) Thrower was a weapon used to hurl darts called "tlacochtli" with greater force and from greater range than they could be thrown by hand. This weapon was considered by the Aztecs to be suited only for royalty and the most elite warriors in the army, and was usually depicted as being the weapon of the Gods. Murals at Teotihuacan show warriors using this effective weapon and it is characteristic of the Mesoamerican cultures of central Mexico. Warriors at the front lines of the army would carry the atlatl and about three to five throwing darts which they would launch after waves of arrows and sling projectiles as they advanced into battle before engaging into melee combat. The "darts" launched from an Atlatl were more like big arrows about 5.9 feet long. Tipped with obsidian, chert, bone or copper heads.