The harpoon was in some ways the sea version of the spear.


Instead of being used for repeated stabbing (as with a spears) or crippling or instant killing (like the Bow and Arrow), the harpoon was made so that it would stick into the animal's body so that the weight of the thrower or the boat the hunter was on could be used to tire the animal, while the rope attached to the butt could be used to track it.


In modern times, the harpoon has been used specifically for whales, but earlier versions were used with smaller animals. Seals are known to have been hunted.

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