The evolution of the boomerang: On some meanings of GIŠ.RU

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2 Scopus citations


The sign GIŠ.RU is a weapon. Its exact meaning is debated. The meanings that have been suggested are boomerang, throw stick, spinning javelin and bow. It is suggested that all these meanings save for spinning javelin are correct. The basic meaning is boomerang. This is apparent both on the basis of the shape of the sign RU in its earliest forms and on the basis of written sources. Throw stick has some similarities to the boomerang (both are hurled, both are made of wood and both are curved in shape), so when the throw stick was introduced it also received the name GIŠ.RU. In early times, the sickle sword may have been used as a weapon of war. Although its use is different from that of the throw stick, its shape is somewhat similar. So, it also received the name GIŠ.RU. In the third millennium BCE, the use of the sickle sword as a weapon of war was discontinued but, it became associated with deities. It retained the name GIŠ.RU in this new capacity until late times.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)91-101
Number of pages11
JournalAncient Near Eastern Studies
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Classics
  • Archaeology
  • History
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts
  • Archaeology
  • Literature and Literary Theory


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