Skip to comments.Stone Age harpoon found on Pacific island
Posted on 02/08/2014 3:18:58 PM PST by SunkenCiv
A 35,000-year-old piece of carved bone found on Timor, an island between Java and Papua New Guinea, indicates that complex hunting weapons were manufactured much earlier than previously thought in Australasia.
A team led by archaeologist Sue OConnor of Australian National University in Canberra has unearthed, in a project that began in 2000, what it regards as the broken butt of a bone harpoon point. Three closely spaced notches were carved on each side of the artifact, above a shaft that tapers to a rounded bottom.
Wear on the notches and residue of a sticky substance close to the bottom suggest the point was tied and glued to a slot on the side of a wooden handle or inserted into a split hollow shaft, the researchers report January 15 in the Journal of Human Evolution.
Stone Age islanders threw spears from boats at large fish and other sea prey, OConnor proposes.
Until now, comparably complex hunting weapons made on islands near Timor dated to no more than several hundred years ago. Curiously, 80,000- to 90,000-year-old African bone spear points display notches similar to those on the Timor find, OConnor says.
(Excerpt) Read more at sciencenews.org ...
HUNTING NOTCHES An ancient piece of carved bone (both sides shown) was probably the base of a harpoon point that inhabitants of Timor attached to a wooden shaft. The artifact is slightly less than one inch long and about one-half inch wide.
I LIKE it!
Ummm, What do you have in mind for it? :)
from the headline I had a mental image of a big rock anvil being dropped on unsuspecting fish.
I had a mental image of a bottle of Harpoon IPA
Since it’s Timor, you have to suppose they understood and constructed boats. Timor was very close to the ice age Southeast Asian coast but not quite. Really interesting find!! Thanks for posting.
I had wondered where I left them things.
What paperwork do I fill out to get em back?
She’s dead Jim...
“...residue of a sticky substance...”
From 35,000 years ago? Really? Wow; beats the crap out of Crazy Glue or Gorilla Glue!
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it...
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Can’t imagine her looking any worse now than when she was alive, Bones.
They really had it goin’ on.
Did they find the missing crew and passengers of the minnow?
Second hypothesis they would advance would be "old bone used in much late manufacture"; their third hypothesis would be claims of outright fraud.
In all three scenarios, the result would be the same: bury it in an unmarked box in a dark corner of a university museum's subbasement "to await further curating".
The original article’s title is “Southeast Asian Island” because Timor is in the Indian Ocean not the Pacific Ocean.
Half inch wide and an inch long?
mighty small harpoon.
Wilson STOP THAT!....... LoL...
Is it just me or is “earlier than previously thought” the new meme?
Thanks for the ping!
Beat me to it. I so enjoy all the "much earlier than previously thought" admissions of late.
Back in the 1980’s I was chatting with a woman archeologist in an East Coast bar. She said out in California she had taken part in a dig where they found human/hominid? remains suspected to be 200,000 to 300,000 years old. Yes, that old! But the information was apparently being supressed, disrespected, etc. She was pissed.
Yes. There are older archaeologists who have reputations based on humans coming here after 12,000 B.C.
These guys are blocking the information and discredit anyone finding older sites. It is always politics.
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