Sunday, 1 December 2013

Stone-Tipped Spears Pre-date the Human Race -via Andy Cobley

Spears feel very much like a human weapon of war—so it's surprising to find out that, in fact, the stone-tipped projectiles pre-date our species by a bewildering 85,000 years.

A team of archaeologists from University of California at Berkeley have uncovered remains of the oldest known stone-tipped throwing spears, and their analysis suggests they're 280,000 years old. They were found at an Ethiopian Stone Age site known as Gademotta, and are reported in PLoS One.

But that age means that they're far older than Homo sapiens—which either suggests we're wrong about how long our race has existed, or that our predecessor species were smart enough to make weapons. Yonatan Sahle, one of the researchers, explains:

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