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Human Ancestors Made Deadly Stone-Tipped Spears 500,000 Years Ago


Science & Tech  (tags: ancient, archaeology, discovery )

Marty
- 760 days ago - blogs.scientificamerican.com
Human ancestors were fashioning sophisticated hunting weapons half a million years ago. An analysis of stone points from a site in South Africa called Kathu Pan 1 indicates that they were attached to shafts of wood and used as spears. The finding pushes



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Comments

Nayra Padilha (10)
Friday November 16, 2012, 4:44 pm
Interesting
 

M Away M. (461)
Friday November 16, 2012, 4:47 pm
Thank you Marty...You have the most interesting news, LOVE IT!

Regarding this news, Human Ancestors SHOULD OF STUCK WITH THESE SPEARS instead of making BOMBS!
 

Bill K. (14)
Friday November 16, 2012, 5:38 pm
also found from half a million years ago were crude cave paintings of peace signs
 

BMutiny TCorporationsEvil (464)
Saturday November 17, 2012, 2:03 am
Human ancestors were fashioning sophisticated hunting weapons half a million years ago. An analysis of stone points from a site in South Africa called Kathu Pan 1 indicates that they were attached to shafts of wood and used as spears. The finding pushes the earliest appearance of hafted multicomponent tools back by some 200,000 years.

Previous discoveries had hinted at the potential antiquity of this technology. Based on evidence that both early modern humans and our closest relatives, the Neandertals, made stone-tipped spears, some researchers hypothesized that their common ancestor—a species called Homo heidelbergensis–shared this know-how. At half a million years old, the newfound stone points are old enough to be the handiwork of this common ancestor.

No wooden shafts were preserved at Kathu Pan 1, but marks on the bases of the stone points and fractures on their tips were consistent with hafting and impact, respectively. Furthermore the edge damage on the ancient points matched up with damage obtained experimentally when new points made from the same raw material as the old ones were hafted onto wooden dowels and thrusted into antelope carcasses. Jayne Wilkins of the University of Toronto and her colleagues describe the work in the November 16 Science.

These new findings follow on the heels of last week’s revelation that bow-and-arrow technology is older than previously thought and add to a growing body of evidence that, on the whole, our long-ago predecessors were more innovative than they are often given credit for.
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Pretty amazing, our ancestors! {and Neanderthal cousins}. And it turns out that non-human animals are smarter than we thought, also...
 

Edgar Zuim (48)
Sunday November 18, 2012, 1:54 pm
Very interesting article. Shows us that men have hated each other since ancient times. Although rudimentary at the time, were deadly weapons. The difference is that today there are bombs that can wipe out all humanity.
 

Gloria H. (88)
Sunday November 18, 2012, 5:43 pm
If their brains were the same as ours today, why not? Surely there were the equivalents of Tesla and Einstein having to share a cave with the average dullard who was (most of us)'s common ancestor.Can you imagine how bored the smart ones must have been? We have no physical clues as of yet, what they were capable of making since 500,000 years have passed and eroded whatever to dust. Heck, may the Flinstones was an accurate picture after all.
 

june t. (66)
Sunday November 18, 2012, 9:28 pm
obviously not a vegetarian tribe....
 

Colleen L. (2)
Sunday November 18, 2012, 10:29 pm
Very interesting. Thanks Marty
 

Nikki B. (129)
Monday November 19, 2012, 4:39 am
Very interesting read. Thanks Marty.
 

Colleen Prinssen (14)
Monday November 19, 2012, 5:28 am
for cutting up pesty watermellons no doubt!

really., did the beef and hunting and gun industry pay them to make up stories? everyone knows our ancestors were 90% vegetaerian. I learned it from this site and it's users and those intellegent vegans.

we got more nurishment from seeds and beans than bone marrow.
 

Colleen Prinssen (14)
Monday November 19, 2012, 5:33 am
oops. ok. my mistake.

not knives.

were these for humans or hunting or war?

why would we not fight over territory or resources without complex global networks run by law and trade?
 

Christopher Fowler (84)
Monday November 19, 2012, 8:28 am
Colleen, you REALLY need to stop drinking the vegan kool-aid. Our ancestors, like us now, were omnivores. Meat was part of their diet as much as berries and other plants.

Tribes of men, that far back were more likely to work together to benefit both than they were to go to war; their populations were that small.

Stop trying to compare the early human ancestors of ancient/prehistoric times to humans of today, or even of humans to pre-industrial times. There is ample proof that they used these items for hunting since this predates domestication of food animals. They also would have used them to defend against predators other than man......or did you completely ignore that little fact in every subject that covered human history and development in grade school?
 

Marty Powell (134)
Monday November 19, 2012, 3:38 pm
Humans and most primates are omnivores. All you have to do is look at the teeth. we did and do eats anything and everything that cant out run us. Meat proteins gave us the big brains that allowed us to overtake other creatures.
 
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