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Stonetipped spear thrown earlier than thought

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The hunt for food led hominins to cast the first stone half a million years ago – 200,000 years earlier than we thought. Archaeologists have found the oldest evidence yet of stone-tipped spears.

The new discovery in South Africa suggests that it was neither our species nor Neanderthals that pioneered the use of such spears, but our shared ancestor Homo heidelbergensis.

We already knew that Homo heidelbergensis could fashion wooden spears – a 500,000-year-old horse shoulder blade from Boxgrove, UK, has a semicircular hole in it that suggests it was pierced by a spear. "But the hole's bevelled edges and circular shape are not suggestive of a stone-tipped weapon," says Jayne Wilkins at the University of Toronto in Ontario, Canada.

Stone points used on spears had been found only at sites that date back no more than 300,000 years, and that are associated with Neanderthals or archaic members of our species.

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Us humans are so clever!

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The San (Bushmen) - the only truly indigenous people in South Africa and Botswana are very skilled trackers and hunters, so it wouldn't surprise me if the first tools came from this region.

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Great find i bet they used this stuff even earlier.

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This is an important finding. We have to learn more about our past.

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This is an important finding. We have to learn more about our past.

It would be fascinating to be able to travel back to those times (discretely of course). Maybe we would then be able to determine why savagery still exists in some humans today.

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It would be fascinating to be able to travel back to those times (discretely of course). Maybe we would then be able to determine why savagery still exists in some humans today.

That's true, my friend. Sometimes you need to look at the past, to find out why a human being is behaving in such a way.

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savagery

I don't think thats the right word for it. it has always been survival of the fittest/strongest/smartest/most adaptive to change/creative...etc. It's a part of who we are. We did not become the dominant species on this planet by being all nice and kind and caring, etc... :gun: Cheers. :w00t:

Edited by Bavarian Raven

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It was savage time back then. Eat or be eaten. No 7-11's around the corner. You hunted to survive and to protect what was yours. Put you back against a wall and all of would savages again.

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Hi Questionmark,

Thanks for letting me know,I looked in on this thread yesterday after you linked me to it but didn't have time to say thanks yesterday.I find thse ancestors of man interesting,and wonder what other social developments occurred that may have carried on to both Neandertal and Hss lines.

jmccr8

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