Dart points were used before the bow and arrow. The dart shaft was 5-7 feet long and launched from a hand-held device called an Atlatl (pronounced "at-la-tal").
It is a wooden device about 2 feet long, with a handgrip at one end and a notch at the other. The end of the dart rests against the notch, then is propelled in a motion similar to a fishing cast.
Al Redder made the above atlatl for us from a tree branch on our property.