November 16, 2012

Common ancestor of people and Neandertals may have flung stone-tipped shafts at animal prey

Filed under: Paleoanth — Andie @ 11:43 am

A paper in the November 16th issue of Science,  “Evidence for Early Hafted Hunting Technology,” suggests that stone-tipped spears were used much earlier than previously thought.   Reported in both Popular Archaeology and ScienceNews, the University of Toronto paper considers evidence from South Africa that suggests that stone-tipped spears were used between 500,000 and 200,000 years ago during the Middle Pleistocene by Home heidelbergensis, an ancestor to both Neanderthals and humans.  This pushes back a major technological innovation to a much earlier time, and an earlier form of humans.  The spears were thought to be hand-thrown, with the development of spear-throwers and other equipment to improve the speed and accuracy of spears being invented rather later.

1 Comment

  1. From time to time, I hear remarks that H. Nean’s shoulder precluded powerful throwing, and other reports saying the differential in arm bone structure indicated thrusting.
    If true, H. Heid’s invention–if true–wouldn’t have been as much a survival technique as whatever H. Neand was doing with his shoulder. Whatever that was.

    Comment by Richard Aubrey — November 19, 2012 @ 3:02 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Powered by WordPress