Our ancestors used stone-tipped spears to hunt for food more than 200,000 years earlier than thought.
A new discovery in South Africa has turned our knowledge on the development of spear weapons on its head. Jayne Wilkins and colleagues unearthed a hoard of prehistoric stone spear tips at Kathu Pan which date back 500,000 years. The find pushes back the known use of such spears by such a large amount that it appears the weapons were not the invention of modern humans or Neanderthals at all but of our shared ancestor Homo heidelbergensis.
"The spears are evidence for the deep accumulation of hunting behaviours in our lineage," said Wikins. "That early humans had sophisticated cognitive abilities comes as no surprise."
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.
View: Full article | Source: New Scientist
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