Throw Javelins this Summer

Now that the warm weather is here its time to make sure you have some great fun for the backyard. If you are of a certain age you will remember a cool toy called Jarts or Lawn Darts. These were large sharp darts one threw at targets in the lawn. Today they don't sell them any more due to safety concerns for toys.

Now we realize these are not toys but our Javelins are a great way to spend some competitive time in the back yard testing your throwing skills. Much like archery one needs to follow safe practice but these weapons can be tossed at flat targets, hay bales or archery targets with ease in the average backyard. You can also enhance your throwing with a lanyard.

The Javelin is one of the oldest weapons. A light throwing weapon, they are lighter than spears, but they are of the same basic form. The earliest examples are lost to history as a light fire hardened stick for throwing by the earliest humans. The oldest examples have been dated to 400,000 years ago.

As a weapon used for both hunting and combat the javelin is seen in almost every human culture. From the ancient Egyptians have light throwing weapons with both the Leaf shaped head and the four sided tapering bolt type head to the medieval warrior we see these weapons in action.

Javelin figure from Tut's tomb
Statue of Javelin use from KIng Tut's Tomb

The Greek examples are many in art and pottery depictions. Skirmishing infantry troops of Greek armies were called Peltast and were armed with several javelins and a shield. 

Greek Javelin thrower
Greek Javelin thrower
Bayeux Tapestry javelin use
Bayeux Tapestry showing javelin throwers
Medieval Fletched Javelins
In the medieval period many javelins were fletched like arrows.


Arms & Armor Javelins 

Here is a video on the Javelins we make at Arms & Armor. They are of two styles and cover a great deal of time and style.

 Arms & Armor Javelin
Arms & Armor Greek Javelin

 If you get some Javelins to throw, please treat as any projectile weapon like archery or sport javelin. Never throw when someone is down range and be ever watchful not only in front of you but all around.


divider swords

Nathan Clough, Ph.D. is Vice President of Arms and Armor and a member of the governing board of The Oakeshott Institute. He is a historical martial artist and a former university professor of cultural geography.  He has given presentations on historical arms at events including Longpoint and Combatcon, and presented scholarly papers at, among others, The International Congress on Medieval Studies.

Craig Johnson is the Production Manager of Arms and Armor and Secretary of The Oakeshott Institute. He has taught and published on the history of arms, armor and western martial arts for over 30 years. He has lectured at several schools and Universities, WMAW, HEMAC, 4W, and ICMS at Kalamazoo. His experiences include iron smelting, jousting, theatrical combat instruction and choreography, historical research, European martial arts and crafting weapons and armor since 1985.

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