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Quartz arrowheads found in Andes mountains challenge understanding of ancient inhabitants

Still Waters

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Posted (IP: Staff) ·

Archaeologists have uncovered 14 arrowheads that are changing our understanding of how bows and arrows were developed and used in pre-Hispanic South America. The research not only provides new insights into how these tools for hunting and warfare were used, but also helps uncover their symbolic significance for the surrounding region.

The subject of bows and arrows in pre-Hispanic South America has been of interest to researchers for some time. This is for a set of very basic reasons. Firstly, archaeologists and historians are not sure when these tools were first developed in this region, nor do they know what motivated the adoption of this weapon and how it came to replace others, such as thrown spears. Moreover, it is not even clear who in South America was the first to develop such technologies and how they were communicated to other populations.

This is especially true for the region of northwest Argentina, the El Alto-Ancasti Mountain range, where evidence of bows and arrows has been missing from the archaeological record.


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The bow was brought into the Americas by the ancestors of the Athapaskans (Dine') who crossed the Bering Strait in boats between 6,000 and 4,000 years ago and new technology travels fast. 


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