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Hunters used spears 200,000 years earlier than thought

 
 
Reply Sat 17 Nov, 2012 01:33 pm
http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/story/2012/11/16/hunters-spears.html

http://www.cbc.ca/gfx/images/news/topstories/2012/11/16/spear-points_2-852.jpg

Quote:
CBC News Posted: Nov 16, 2012 1:47 PM ET Last Updated: Nov 16, 2012 4:04 PM ET

A University of Toronto-led team of anthropologists has found evidence that human ancestors used stone-tipped weapons for hunting animals 500,000 years ago — 200,000 years earlier than previously thought.

"This changes the way we think about early human adaptations and capacities before the origin of our own species," says Jayne Wilkins, a PhD candidate in the department of anthropology at the University of Toronto and lead author of a new study in Science magazine.

"Although both Neanderthals and humans used stone-tipped spears, this is the first evidence that the technology originated prior to or near the divergence of these two species."

Attaching stone points to spears — known as "hafting" — was an important advance in hunting weaponry for early humans, says Wilkins. Hafted tools require more effort and foreplanning to manufacture, but a sharp stone point on the end of a spear can increase its killing power.

Hafted spear tips are common in Stone Age archaeological sites beginning about 300,000 years ago. This new study shows that they were also used in the early Middle Pleistocene, a period associated with the Homo heidelbergensis species, who were the last common ancestor of Neanderthals and modern humans.

"It explains why we share some traits with the Neanderthals, we share a common ancestor," said Wilkins in an interview that airs on Quirks & Quarks on Saturday.


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Type: Discussion • Score: 9 • Views: 1,407 • Replies: 18
No top replies

 
Lustig Andrei
 
  1  
Reply Sat 17 Nov, 2012 08:19 pm
@Lustig Andrei,
No comments at all from anyone? 200,000 years is a rather long time, I think, to have erred on until now.
Builder
 
  1  
Reply Sat 17 Nov, 2012 08:25 pm
@Lustig Andrei,
Hmmm, just saw your post now.

I have an extensive collection of spear-points and scrapers and bludgeons and knives from our Australian indigenous peoples, and they are supposedly one of the oldest people/s in the world.

The fact that our consumer-based class system relies upon religion to keep the masses in their place, usually sees this kind of "discovery" relegated to the minor pages in any news rag, simply because according to "the book", the Earth itself is less than ten thousand years old.

I'm of the opinion that our current development as intelligent beings is still a long way short of what has been achieved by humans in a past existential period. Remembering, of course, that the Earth has experienced at least one major pole-shift, resulting in a global tsunami situation that would have wiped out most of what was built, along with most of whom built it.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sat 17 Nov, 2012 08:27 pm
I am impressed, but have nothing intelligent to give to the thread just now.
0 Replies
 
Ragman
 
  1  
Reply Sat 17 Nov, 2012 08:40 pm
@Lustig Andrei,
None from me except to say thanks for spearheading the research.
0 Replies
 
Lustig Andrei
 
  1  
Reply Sat 17 Nov, 2012 09:02 pm
I think it's a helluva long step toward revising some of our opinions on just how "backward" or how advanced our earliest ancestors were.
0 Replies
 
edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sat 17 Nov, 2012 10:37 pm
It will take a long time to fill in as many gaps as they are going to.
0 Replies
 
thack45
 
  1  
Reply Sat 17 Nov, 2012 10:41 pm
Seems there's still plenty to discover. The author of a book called Lone Survivors was on Colbert the other night. The gist:
Quote:
Stringer's new theory, based on archeological and genetic evidence, holds that distinct humans coexisted and competed across the African continent—exchanging genes, tools, and behavioral strategies.

Stringer draws on analyses of old and new fossils from around the world, DNA studies of Neanderthals (using the full genome map) and other species, and recent archeological digs to unveil his new theory. He shows how the most sensational recent fossil findings fit with his model, and he questions previous concepts (including his own) of modernity and how it evolved... http://us.macmillan.com/lonesurvivors/ChrisStringer

More: http://www.newscientist.com/blogs/culturelab/2012/03/the-only-humans-left-on-earth.html

Might check this one out
0 Replies
 
hawkeye10
 
  1  
Reply Sat 17 Nov, 2012 11:29 pm
@Lustig Andrei,
Lustig Andrei wrote:

No comments at all from anyone? 200,000 years is a rather long time, I think, to have erred on until now.

we always error in over estimating the ignorance of our ancestors(because we are such hot **** dont ya know!)...there is nothing new to see here.
0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Sun 18 Nov, 2012 01:20 am
@Lustig Andrei,
They're stunning, aren't they? It's a fascinating find...I'm still reading...
Builder
 
  1  
Reply Sun 18 Nov, 2012 01:26 am
@dlowan,
I'll pick out some of my pieces from Wardaman country and take some photos. The serrated knife concept is as old as the hills.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sun 18 Nov, 2012 03:40 am
Cool, Buddy . . . i'll have to look up the Quirks and Quarks show on CBC's web site.
0 Replies
 
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Sun 18 Nov, 2012 04:18 am
@Builder,
Great!
Builder
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Nov, 2012 02:42 am
@dlowan,
Okay, lost my little pup to parvo virus this morning. Sad day. Will snap some photos in the morning.
dlowan
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Nov, 2012 03:40 am
@Builder,
Oh, that's awful. I am so sorry.
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Nov, 2012 08:20 am
@Builder,
Im really interested in the styles of your artifact implements. Neato if you post some pics. I can do ;ikewise with somma my Paleo artifacts from North America
0 Replies
 
Lustig Andrei
 
  1  
Reply Mon 19 Nov, 2012 01:39 pm
@Builder,
So sorry to hear about your loss, Builder.
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Tue 20 Nov, 2012 08:38 am
@Builder,
didnt see yur post about yer pup. We had a cat that we adopted from a shelter that came with parvo so we have to have em tested because its a heartbreaking thing, you just get used to their little personalities and then we lose em.

Sorry dude.
0 Replies
 
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Tue 20 Nov, 2012 08:44 am
@Lustig Andrei,
I dont believe that these would have been usd s throwing "spears", rather a stone tip on a long rod that acts as an extension and a means to keep a distance from the hunter to the prey. Breakage would have been similar. Whn they developed flaking technology by heat or pressure , they were more able to have a balanced projectile and then the atlatl
0 Replies
 
 

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