The birth of weapons
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Posted 16 November 2012 - 06:46 AM
However, by comparing the wear visible on 500,000-year-old stone points found in South Africa with modern experimental points fired by a specially calibrated crossbow at a springbok carcass, scientists proved they had been used as spear tips for hunting. 'Hafting' was an important technological advance that made it possible to handle or throw sharp points with much more power and control.
Leader author Jayne Wilkins, a PhD candidate in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Toronto in Canada, said the research suggested stone-tipped spears could have been in use before the divergence of early humans and Neanderthals. She said: 'This changes the way we think about early human adaptations and capacities before the origin of our own species. 'Although both Neanderthals and humans used stone-tipped spears, this is the first evidence that the technology originated prior to or near the divergence of these two species.' Attaching stone points to spears was an important advance in hunting weaponry for early humans.
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