Homo heidelbergensis at the Smithsonian Natural History Museum. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 2.0 Ryan Somma
The world's oldest known throwing spear tips appear to predate the human race by 85,000 years.
Discovered at the Ethiopian Stone Age site of Gademotta, the stone-tipped spears were investigated at Berkeley’s Human Evolution Research Center where they were found to date back over 280,000 years.
Made from obsidian, the ancient spears exhibit all the signs of skilled craftsmanship despite predating modern humans by such a huge margin.
This discrepancy in date implies that either humans are a much older species than previously thought, a discovery that in itself would constitute a major shake-up of what we know of the human family tree, or another pre-human species learned how to build these weapons before humans did.
In the case of the latter, the prime candidate would be Homo heidelbergensis
, otherwise known as Heidelberg Man, a species that lived across Africa, Europe and Asia up to 600,000 years ago and is believed to be a direct ancestor of modern man.
Source: Fox News | Comments (32)
Pre-human, Early Man