One of my language interests has been Nahuatl (the language of the Aztecs). Somehow that “tl” morpheme caught my eye. It also didn’t hurt that the language I took in high school was Spanish, and most of the original information about Nahuatl was recorded in Spanish by Spanish priests.
But there is another connection. Here in Ohio, one of the absolutely coolest Amerindian artifacts is the Newark Earthworks, which includes the Octagon, a lunar observatory. Another of the cool artifacts is the Serpent Mound.
The Octagon itself is currently a golf course (feh! though the fact that it was a golf course probably is what preserved the Octagon from the plowing over that destroyed so many of the other native earthworks). Nonetheless, a few times a year the Octagon is opened to the public (and the golfers have to hold off) and people are free to tour the whole site. (A better description of the events are here on the Ohio Archeology Blog.) One of those Open Houses is occurring April 17-18. These are worth going to.
Anyways, one of the events put on by the Newark Earthworks Center as part of the Octagon Open House is is a chance to throw some spears using atlatls. (more…)