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400,000 year old spears found in an German coal mine!
reinep.wordpress.com ^ | 07-04-2010 | Staff

Posted on 10/11/2010 6:38:35 AM PDT by Red Badger

Researchers in Germany have unearthed 400,000 year old wooden spears from what appears to be an ancient lake shore hunting ground stunning evidence that human ancestors systematically hunted big game much earlier than believed. The three spears, each carved from the trunk of a spruce tree, are 6 feet to more than 7 feet long. They were found with more than 10,000 animal bones, mostly from horses, including many obviously butchered. That indicates the ancient hunters were organized enough to trap horses and strong enough to kill them by throwing spears, perhaps ambushing herds that showed up for water.

“There’s no question if you are hunting a group of horses coming along a lake, you must be strong. You have to plan it. You have to organize it,” said archeologist Hartmut Thieme, whose crew made the discovery. The spears, found as researchers worked one step ahead of an expanding coal mine, skewer the idea that humans at that time depended on scavenging and foraging, experts said. “What it’s telling us is these people were very sophisticated, competent hunters,” said Robin Dennell, a professor of prehistory at the University of Sheffield in England. “They were perfectly capable of long-term planning and foresight.” And “they must have been awfully strong, far stronger than I am. Those spears are longer than I am.”

Before the new find, there had been some evidence of systematic hunting about 200,000 years ago. The spears are twice that old. In addition, some researchers have argued that such hunting didn’t truly begin until about 40,000 years ago. Thieme, who works for the state of Lower Saxony in Germany, reported his crew’s discoveries last week in the journal Nature. He and colleagues had found the spears in 1995 near Schoeningen, about 60 miles southeast of Hanover. Since the Nature paper was written, his crew has come across pieces of a fourth spear. The spears were obviously made with care. After chopping down an appropriate tree and stripping off the bark and branches, the ancient hunters carved the tip at the base of the trunk, where the wood is hardest.

The spears were shaped to be thickest toward the front with a long tapering tail, like modern javelins, which suggests they were meant for throwing rather than jabbing. After all that work “they’re not going to throw it at a squirrel in a dark night,” said Dennell, who wrote a Nature commentary on the spears. “These people were serious about hunting.”

Frank Herrold, an anthropologist at the University of Texas at Arlington , said the spears will have to be studied further to establish that they were really meant to be thrown. The hunters, called archaic Homo sapiens or Homo heidelbergensis, were distant ancestors of Neanderthals. They hunted in a cool climate like that of central Norway today. They sought game in a landscape of large meadows with spruce and birch trees. A few of their spears were preserved over the eons because they were waterlogged , a rare stroke of luck, noted F. Clark Howell, emeritus professor of paleoanthropology at the University of California at Berkeley

“This finding demonstrates what a few people have guessed at . . . that we’re dealing with a hunting people, that hunting is an important part of their lives,” he said.

Additional info

Radiocarbon dating has confirmed that three wooden spears found in a coal mine in Schöningen, near Hannover, Germany, are the oldest complete hunting weapons ever found. Some 380,000 to 400,000 years old, the six- to 7.5-foot javelins were found in soil whose acids had been neutralized by a high concentration of chalk near the coal pit.

And what about this?

Thousands of pieces of horse, elephant, and deer bone were also found at Schöningen. The bones showed cut marks from stone flints found with grooved wooden tools that probably held the flints. If Thieme can prove the flints were hafted in the wooden tools, they will be the oldest known composite tools in the world.

This is also strange!

The Clacton lance tip suggested that people may have been hunting; the three spears from Schöningen now make it fairly certain that they were not merely scavenger-gatherers. That early man hunted big game is supported by the recent discovery of a fossilized rhinoceros shoulder blade with a projectile wound at Boxgrove, England, dated to 500,000 years ago.


TOPICS: Miscellaneous; Science
KEYWORDS: archaeology; ggg; godsgravesglyphs; neandertal; neandertals; neanderthal; neanderthals
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1 posted on 10/11/2010 6:38:36 AM PDT by Red Badger
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To: SunkenCiv

Ping!...........


2 posted on 10/11/2010 6:39:06 AM PDT by Red Badger (No, Obama's not the Antichrist. But he does have him in his MY FAVES.............)
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To: Red Badger

“400,000 year old spears”

I knew Brtiny was aging badly, but I never guessed she was that old.


3 posted on 10/11/2010 6:40:51 AM PDT by Larry Lucido
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To: Red Badger
...did they find any spaetzl or beer?
4 posted on 10/11/2010 6:40:59 AM PDT by MSF BU (++)
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To: Red Badger

Only a Neanderthal could butcher a horse.


5 posted on 10/11/2010 6:42:08 AM PDT by earlJam
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To: earlJam

Or a hungry redneck...............


6 posted on 10/11/2010 6:42:40 AM PDT by Red Badger (No, Obama's not the Antichrist. But he does have him in his MY FAVES.............)
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To: Larry Lucido

7 posted on 10/11/2010 6:43:47 AM PDT by Red Badger (No, Obama's not the Antichrist. But he does have him in his MY FAVES.............)
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To: Red Badger

Perhaps those huge, cumbersome spears were held by more than one hunter. They might have developed a system of running and hurling in unison. More strength, velocity and reach.


8 posted on 10/11/2010 6:46:12 AM PDT by sodpoodle (Despair; man's surrender. Laughter; God's redemption.)
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To: MSF BU

Beer was invented (as far as we know) in Egypt or Mesopotamia around 5000 BC, give or take a millenia or two. It wasn’t until 1400’s AD that Germany perfected it...............


9 posted on 10/11/2010 6:47:25 AM PDT by Red Badger (No, Obama's not the Antichrist. But he does have him in his MY FAVES.............)
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To: sodpoodle

10 posted on 10/11/2010 6:49:01 AM PDT by Red Badger (No, Obama's not the Antichrist. But he does have him in his MY FAVES.............)
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To: Red Badger

Yeah, but what were they doing in a coal mine back then?


11 posted on 10/11/2010 6:49:24 AM PDT by NonValueAdded ("It's amazing, A man who has such large ears could be so tone deaf" Rush Limbaugh 9/8/10)
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To: NonValueAdded

Starting Global Warming, trying to melt the mile thick ice sheet..............


12 posted on 10/11/2010 6:50:33 AM PDT by Red Badger (No, Obama's not the Antichrist. But he does have him in his MY FAVES.............)
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To: Red Badger

Those spears were most likely thrusting weapons and not thrown, especially since they are not straight and wouldn’t fly properly. It is also estimated that modern humans appeared about 50,000 years ago so its likely those spears were used by neanderthals.


13 posted on 10/11/2010 6:53:25 AM PDT by Hacklehead (Note to Leftists- We Will Bury You (politically)
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To: Red Badger

http://www.offthemark.com/prehistoric/prehistoric03.htm

LOL!!!!


14 posted on 10/11/2010 6:55:11 AM PDT by sodpoodle (Despair; man's surrender. Laughter; God's redemption.)
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To: Red Badger

So, the Germans were trying to take over the World even 400000 years ago! Obviously the remains of an ancient military-industrial complex.


15 posted on 10/11/2010 7:00:31 AM PDT by ketelone
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To: Red Badger
And “they must have been awfully strong, far stronger than I am. Those spears are longer than I am.”

What?

As spears go, this is shortish. Much shorter and you've got a dart, not a spear.

16 posted on 10/11/2010 7:00:54 AM PDT by Sherman Logan
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To: Sherman Logan

They were midget neanderthals?.................


17 posted on 10/11/2010 7:07:23 AM PDT by Red Badger (No, Obama's not the Antichrist. But he does have him in his MY FAVES.............)
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To: Sherman Logan
The Roman Legions made good use of the pilum, a throwing spear, that was five and a half feet long. That was just about the height of the average legionary.

If these spears from the coal mine are seven feet long, then I would not consider them to be "shortish".
Of course, the Macedonian phalanx used the sarissa, a thrusting spear, that was 16 feet long, but that's a whole 'nother thing.

18 posted on 10/11/2010 7:19:17 AM PDT by ClearCase_guy
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To: NonValueAdded

Fell in what was a peat bog back then

Bog was compressed by sediments on top - over eons the peat
was turned in coal

Probably low grade lignite - first step on becoming coal

It is strip mined to burn in power plants


19 posted on 10/11/2010 7:21:41 AM PDT by njslim
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To: earlJam
Horses weren't all that big ~ about zebra size in fact.

The modern horse is much larger than its ancestors thanks to controlled breeding by humans who liked big horses.

Even today killing and butchering a zebra is not without effort, although if you use a firearm it cuts out a lot of the preliminary stuff.

20 posted on 10/11/2010 7:23:17 AM PDT by muawiyah ("GIT OUT THE WAY" The Republicans are coming)
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To: earlJam
Horses weren't all that big ~ about zebra size in fact.

The modern horse is much larger than its ancestors thanks to controlled breeding by humans who liked big horses.

Even today killing and butchering a zebra is not without effort, although if you use a firearm it cuts out a lot of the preliminary stuff.

21 posted on 10/11/2010 7:23:26 AM PDT by muawiyah ("GIT OUT THE WAY" The Republicans are coming)
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To: muawiyah

in school we butchered an elk using stone tools, much tougher than using my Kershaws but knowing the connection of the muscles we could minimize the heavy cutting and we used pressure flaked chips much more than handaxes.


22 posted on 10/11/2010 7:45:35 AM PDT by Docbarleypop
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To: Red Badger; StayAt HomeMother; Ernest_at_the_Beach; 1010RD; 21twelve; 24Karet; 2ndDivisionVet; ...

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Thanks Red Badger. Cue the Devo version...

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list.
 

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23 posted on 10/11/2010 7:52:26 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (The 2nd Amendment follows right behind the 1st because some people are hard of hearing.)
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To: Red Badger

Only 394,000 years before God created the Universe.....


24 posted on 10/11/2010 7:52:36 AM PDT by GraceG
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To: muawiyah
Even today killing and butchering a zebra is not without effort, although if you use a firearm it cuts out a lot of the preliminary stuff.

LOL!......Yeah, like chasing down the wounded animal for miles..............

25 posted on 10/11/2010 7:56:39 AM PDT by Red Badger (No, Obama's not the Antichrist. But he does have him in his MY FAVES.............)
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To: SunkenCiv

More “scientists” with over-active imaginations.


26 posted on 10/11/2010 7:57:49 AM PDT by BenLurkin (This post is not a statement of fact. It is merely a personal opinion -- or humor -- or both.)
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To: Red Badger
Stranger In A New Land

"Brawny, brainy, armed with cutting-edge technology--this was the hominid hero Hollywood would have cast in the role, a picture-perfect pioneer. Too perfect, it turns out. Over the past few years, researchers working at a site called Dmanisi in the Republic of Georgia have unearthed a trove of spectacularly well preserved human fossils, stone tools and animal remains dated to around 1.75 million years ago--nearly half a million years older than the 'Ubeidiya remains."

27 posted on 10/11/2010 8:10:01 AM PDT by blam
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To: Red Badger
Distance running is one of the few places where a human can outdo an animal.

These Toes Were Made for Running

With our lack of insulating fur and our watery, cooling sweat a naked human can run a bunny into heat exhaustion.

28 posted on 10/11/2010 8:24:13 AM PDT by null and void (We are now in day 629 of our national holiday from reality. - 0bama really isn't one of US.)
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To: Red Badger

How do they know they weren’t fishing poles, barbecue spits, or poles in a carrying rig, or Clampett pot passers?


29 posted on 10/11/2010 8:28:02 AM PDT by 668 - Neighbor of the Beast ( A window seat, a jug of elderberry wine, and thou.)
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To: Red Badger
strong enough to kill them by throwing spears, perhaps ambushing herds that showed up for water. “There’s no question if you are hunting a group of horses coming along a lake, you must be strong.You have to plan it. You have to organize it,

Not to mention making the spears. 0.o

So, are we saying that humans appeared on the scene with more than an apelike intelligence?

I dunno, i just saw video of a guy killing an elk with a spear. (shrug) What do they mean by "strong"?

30 posted on 10/11/2010 8:32:22 AM PDT by Terriergal ("I am ashamed that women are so simple To offer war where they should kneel for peace," Shakespeare)
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To: BenLurkin
Nothing imaginary about it:
The three spears, each carved from the trunk of a spruce tree, are 6 feet to more than 7 feet long. They were found with more than 10,000 animal bones, mostly from horses, including many obviously butchered.

31 posted on 10/11/2010 8:32:58 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (The 2nd Amendment follows right behind the 1st because some people are hard of hearing.)
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To: 668 - Neighbor of the Beast
How do they know they weren’t fishing poles...

They didn't find an ancient Bass ProShop nearby?...............

32 posted on 10/11/2010 8:35:33 AM PDT by Red Badger (No, Obama's not the Antichrist. But he does have him in his MY FAVES.............)
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To: SunkenCiv
Color me skeptical -- particularly as to the 400,000 BC date. There just weren't no people back then.

33 posted on 10/11/2010 8:40:58 AM PDT by BenLurkin (This post is not a statement of fact. It is merely a personal opinion -- or humor -- or both.)
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To: blam
The details here have to do with HUNTING rather than SCAVENGING.

The fact they had carefully prepared wooden spears shows they actively hunted game. Having stone tools merely means they cut meat up before eating it.

One of the strong thesis is that early man didn't hunt. Rather, relying on his smarts he let other animals, e.g. lions, tigers, bears, wolves ~ kill game which he then stole and ate himself!

34 posted on 10/11/2010 9:00:31 AM PDT by muawiyah ("GIT OUT THE WAY" The Republicans are coming)
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To: Terriergal

” if you are hunting a group of horses coming along a lake, you must be strong.You have to plan it. You have to organize it...”

Reminds me of Al Gore and his claims of being a hunter.


35 posted on 10/11/2010 9:01:49 AM PDT by Redcitizen
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To: BenLurkin

Well, you certainly can’t argue with the evidence you produced.


36 posted on 10/11/2010 9:01:51 AM PDT by D_Idaho ("For we wrestle not against flesh and blood...")
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To: BenLurkin
See the listing for Neandertalis? Click back a tad and you'll find Heidelbergensis. He's not talked about as much because they aren't found so often.

There were OTHERS just recently discovered.

Here's the deal, there've been 21 major glacial periods over the last couple of million years. They are divided up into about 100,000 years of cold and 10,000 years of warmth called Interglacials.

Sometimes there are periods of less than 10,000 years warmth and they are called interstadials.

Human beings are smart. They move North when it's warm and South when it's cold. The result is that humanity gets adapted and readapted over and over and over in broad cycles.

Sometimes groups get left behind and they do a different sort of adaptation. The result is the constant creation and recreation of "the people", until, at last, here we are, prepared to enter the crucible again.

37 posted on 10/11/2010 9:08:34 AM PDT by muawiyah ("GIT OUT THE WAY" The Republicans are coming)
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To: Red Badger; Black Agnes

more evidence debunking convenient untruths and explaining things many wish weren’t so obvious


38 posted on 10/11/2010 9:26:44 AM PDT by wardaddy (the redress over anything minority is a cancer in our country...stage 4)
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To: null and void
Supposedly there are NO animals of any kind that can outlast a human in a long distance run ~ one problem is the animal's inferior attention span. They tire, take a break, forget what was up, and next thing we're on them!

This last year after watching the Winter Olympics I found out what the performance characteristics of well conditioned skiers were. Seems they can go DOWNHILL on the standard courses at about 65 MPH average speed, and UPHILL on the same courses at about 5 MPH. No doubt there are individuals and hills where the actual results vary from these figures but over 50 kilometers, that's what I derived from the race records.

Now that's pretty good and explains something very important ~ cheetas can go faster for a short distance. Reindeer can actually get up to that speed for a good long time. Wolves are much slower (35 MPH tops), and so on.

Turns out a man on skis on snow can outperform every animal that can run on or in snow! But it's not just "outperform", a man can simply go to the top of a hill and ski down into the midst of a herd of animals in a valley and have his take of the herd ~ most likely without breaking a sweat.

I was looking for a reason why human beings could have moved into subarctic regions dominated by wolves and bears, and there it was ~ clear as day ~ people were the top predators! They could move faster than the wolves or bears AND, best of all, take game at a very high percentage of attempts ~ thereby starving out the bears and wolves and leaving the herds to the people!

BTW, I predict that someday they'll find a Neandertal with skis.

39 posted on 10/11/2010 9:28:31 AM PDT by muawiyah ("GIT OUT THE WAY" The Republicans are coming)
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To: SunkenCiv

Horse - the other white meat!!


40 posted on 10/11/2010 9:35:11 AM PDT by djf (It is ISLAM or "We, the People..." Take your pick. THERE IS NO MIDDLE GROUND!!!)
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To: Redcitizen

But he was. Heck, Al Gore invented hunting, then he invented the internet.


41 posted on 10/11/2010 9:48:11 AM PDT by Jaded (Stumbling blocks ALL AROUND, some of them camouflaged well. My toes hurt, but I got past them.)
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To: muawiyah

Ridiculous!

Everyone knows Neanderthals were snowboarders...


42 posted on 10/11/2010 10:02:55 AM PDT by null and void (We are now in day 629 of our national holiday from reality. - 0bama really isn't one of US.)
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To: BenLurkin

That graphic is from Answers in Genesis.


43 posted on 10/11/2010 11:31:05 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (The 2nd Amendment follows right behind the 1st because some people are hard of hearing.)
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To: djf

I wonder whinny figured out how to ride one.


44 posted on 10/11/2010 11:33:08 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (The 2nd Amendment follows right behind the 1st because some people are hard of hearing.)
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To: SunkenCiv
Here's the scoop from the reliable atheists at Wikipedia:

Cro-Magnon
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The original "Old man of Crô-Magnon", Musée de l'Homme, ParisThe Cro-Magnon (pronounced /kroʊˈmæɡnən/, French [kʁomaɲɔ̃]) were the first early modern humans (early Homo sapiens sapiens) of the European Upper Paleolithic in Europe.

The earliest known remains of Cro-Magnon-like humans are radiometrically dated to 35,000 years before present.

45 posted on 10/11/2010 11:40:23 AM PDT by BenLurkin (This post is not a statement of fact. It is merely a personal opinion -- or humor -- or both.)
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To: BenLurkin
Neandertal characteristics were fully emerged by 350,000 years ago, but had begun to 600,000 years ago, in Europe.
The Neandertal Enigma
by James Shreeve

in local libraries
Frayer's own reading of the record reveals a number of overlooked traits that clearly and specifically link the Neandertals to the Cro-Magnons. One such trait is the shape of the opening of the nerve canal in the lower jaw, a spot where dentists often give a pain-blocking injection. In many Neandertal, the upper portion of the opening is covered by a broad bony ridge, a curious feature also carried by a significant number of Cro-Magnons. But none of the alleged 'ancestors of us all' fossils from Africa have it, and it is extremely rare in modern people outside Europe." [pp 126-127]

46 posted on 10/11/2010 11:55:05 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (The 2nd Amendment follows right behind the 1st because some people are hard of hearing.)
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To: Red Badger

bump for later


47 posted on 10/11/2010 12:38:40 PM PDT by goldfinch
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To: Hacklehead
Those spears were most likely thrusting weapons and not thrown, especially since they are not straight and wouldn’t fly properly. It is also estimated that modern humans appeared about 50,000 years ago so its likely those spears were used by neanderthals.

It could be they might have warped a bit over the last few hundred thousand years. :-)

48 posted on 10/11/2010 1:56:25 PM PDT by zeugma (Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam)
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To: muawiyah
"One of the strong thesis is that early man didn't hunt. Rather, relying on his smarts he let other animals, e.g. lions, tigers, bears, wolves ~ kill game which he then stole and ate himself! "

Probably both hunting and opportunistic scavenging took place. Even chimps have been observed in the wild cooperatively hunting. I'm sure early man has been using sharp sticks since he learned to stand upright. As to when man learned to carve a sharp point on the end of a stick.......I'm guessing way earlier than 400,000 years ago.

49 posted on 10/11/2010 2:10:54 PM PDT by Godebert
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To: zeugma

“It could be they might have warped a bit over the last few hundred thousand years. :-)”

I’ve become pretty warped in less than 60 years so it’s certainly possible. For what it’s worth the “experts” say that Neanderthal had thick shout bodies and were very strong (built like a fireplug with feet), and likely to have been ambush predators. Also those spears look like they were made from a six or 7 ft tree branch with a sharpened end. Even if thrown by a very strong arm I doubt it would penetrate very deeply into a horse.


50 posted on 10/11/2010 2:14:21 PM PDT by Hacklehead (Note to Leftists- We Will Bury You (politically)
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