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Sat Nov 17, 2012, 12:05 AM

Hunters used stone-tipped spears 200,000 years earlier than previously thought

Source: CBC

A University of Toronto-led team of anthropologists has found evidence that human ancestors used stone-tipped weapons for hunting animals 500,000 years ago — 200,000 years earlier than previously thought.

"This changes the way we think about early human adaptations and capacities before the origin of our own species," says Jayne Wilkins, a PhD candidate in the department of anthropology at the University of Toronto and lead author of a new study in Science magazine.

-snip-

Attaching stone points to spears — known as "hafting" — was an important advance in hunting weaponry for early humans, says Wilkins. Hafted tools require more effort and foreplanning to manufacture, but a sharp stone point on the end of a spear can increase its killing power.

Hafted spear tips are common in Stone Age archaeological sites beginning about 300,000 years ago. This new study shows that they were also used in the early Middle Pleistocene, a period associated with the Homo heidelbergensis species, who were the last common ancestor of Neanderthals and modern humans.

-snip-

Read more: http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/story/2012/11/16/hunters-spears.html

47 replies, 6322 views

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Reply Hunters used stone-tipped spears 200,000 years earlier than previously thought (Original post)
highplainsdem Nov 2012 OP
Permanut Nov 2012 #1
zonkers Nov 2012 #2
awoke_in_2003 Nov 2012 #6
Liberalagogo Nov 2012 #10
milestogo Nov 2012 #28
muriel_volestrangler Nov 2012 #42
milestogo Nov 2012 #46
slackmaster Nov 2012 #17
4th law of robotics Nov 2012 #47
Kennah Nov 2012 #3
Fridays Child Nov 2012 #7
Berlum Nov 2012 #12
MrScorpio Nov 2012 #4
freshwest Nov 2012 #5
Iliyah Nov 2012 #8
ReRe Nov 2012 #9
Exultant Democracy Nov 2012 #11
valerief Nov 2012 #13
Evasporque Nov 2012 #14
NorthCarolina Nov 2012 #15
slackmaster Nov 2012 #16
Ash_F Nov 2012 #18
AlphaCentauri Nov 2012 #25
Ash_F Nov 2012 #33
Laha Nov 2012 #19
lunatica Nov 2012 #20
RushIsRot Nov 2012 #32
Ash_F Nov 2012 #34
happyslug Nov 2012 #37
Paladin Nov 2012 #21
Botany Nov 2012 #22
Thor_MN Nov 2012 #24
joshcryer Nov 2012 #38
Jackpine Radical Nov 2012 #27
kestrel91316 Nov 2012 #29
PavePusher Nov 2012 #30
slackmaster Nov 2012 #35
PavePusher Nov 2012 #36
Ash_F Nov 2012 #39
okasha Nov 2012 #31
snooper2 Nov 2012 #43
Ter Nov 2012 #40
slackmaster Nov 2012 #41
LanternWaste Nov 2012 #44
slackmaster Nov 2012 #45
madrchsod Nov 2012 #23
bluedigger Nov 2012 #26

Response to highplainsdem (Original post)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 12:17 AM

1. I also understand there were stone-tipped weapons shows..

with free mastodon burgers for the kiddies, and you could check out different size weapons. The smaller ones, of course, were designed for self-defense, and could be hidden under the hide you were wearing. No permits were necessary, as paper had not been invented yet. Even worse, scissors didn't exist either, so the game of rock-paper-scissors was not as fun.

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Response to Permanut (Reply #1)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 12:19 AM

2. don't stop now.

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Response to Permanut (Reply #1)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 01:03 AM

6. They can have my stone tipped weapon...

when they pry it from my cold, dead hands.

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Response to Permanut (Reply #1)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 02:26 AM

10. Regardless, everyone still had.....

A GAY OLD TIME!!!!!!!




WILMA!!!!!!!!!!

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Response to Liberalagogo (Reply #10)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 01:41 PM

28. This is the first I heard of Homo heidelbergensis.

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Response to milestogo (Reply #28)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 07:24 AM

42. While the first fossil find was over a century ago, near Heidelberg (unsurprisingly)

It's only in the last few decades that enough similar finds from around the world has convinced most scientists to have Homo heidelbergensis as a distinct species, ancestral to both Neanderthals and modern Homo sapiens:

In 1907, an ancient human jaw was discovered in a quarry at Mauer, a village near Heidelberg, Germany. The jaw had small, human-like teeth but was unlike modern human jaws in being extremely large and heavy boned. The unique features of this Mauer 1 jaw led to it being named a new species the following year. However, the species Homo heidelbergensis has only become more accepted since the end of the 20th century with the discovery of additional fossils that had features intermediate between those of earlier and later human species.
...
Fossils of this species have been found scattered across Africa and Europe. A fossilised skullcap discovered in northern India’s Narmada Valley may also be Homo heidelbergensis and if so, currently represents the easternmost occurrence of this species. Important sites include Lake Turkana, Bodo, Ndutu, Kabwe, Elandsfontein, Petralona, Mauer, Steinheim, Arago, Boxgrove, Swanscombe and Narmada.

Most fossils now known as Homo heidelbergensis were previously known as either Homo erectus, Homo neanderthalensis or ‘archaic’ Homo sapiens. With the discovery of many more fossils over the last few decades, many researchers now accept Homo heidelbergensis as a separate species, although the designation of some fossils is still debated since they possess features that are transitional between earlier and later species.

Homo heidelbergensis began to develop regional differences that eventually gave rise to two species of humans. European populations of Homo heidelbergensis evolved into Homo neanderthalensis (the Neanderthals) while a separate population of Homo heidelbergensis in Africa evolved into our own species, Homo sapiens.

http://australianmuseum.net.au/Homo-heidelbergensis

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Reply #42)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 09:35 PM

46. Thank You!

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Response to Permanut (Reply #1)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 09:37 AM

17. When stone-tipped weapons are outlawed, only outlaws will have stone-tipped weapons.

 

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Response to Permanut (Reply #1)

Tue Nov 20, 2012, 01:54 PM

47. And there were primitive hominids

 

swearing that all these weapons are destroying society, they're useless in defending oneself against another tribe or violent animal and if it came down to that the other hominid/saber toothed tiger would just take your stick away and use it on you. Sure the tribe had always had and used weapons, but simple things like rocks or clubs. As their forefathers had intended. Not these new-fangled rocks tied to sticks that could kill at a distance and with great ease.

Those people didn't survive very well.

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Response to highplainsdem (Original post)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 12:34 AM

3. Lies! Earth is only 6,000 years old. God said so.

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Response to Kennah (Reply #3)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 01:06 AM

7. That makes this news a miracle!

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Response to Kennah (Reply #3)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 07:35 AM

12. ...eVen ThE ELeCT shall be dEceiVed

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Response to highplainsdem (Original post)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 12:40 AM

4. Hundreds of thousands of years, eh? Today's defense contractors don't have anything on those guys

I guess that instead of a budget that planned for ten years of defense expenditure outlays, these guys planned for ten THOUSAND years.

"Thanks for choose us for providing you with the latest in spear chucking technology. It's been our top of the line for the past 100,000 years. Just sign your 'X' right here on the antelope hide contract, Mr. Ugg and we'll have a deal."

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Response to highplainsdem (Original post)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 12:57 AM

5. Breaking news! Only half a million years old! Just kidding. Gotta start somewhere!

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Response to highplainsdem (Original post)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 01:18 AM

8. Oh shit, I was told by the holier than thou

that mankind DID NOT exist until 4-5 thousand years ago, Darn it, I'm in denial. hehehehehehehe

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Response to highplainsdem (Original post)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 01:55 AM

9. "Hunters used stone-tipped spears 200,000 earlier than previously thought"

And they were all Republicans.

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Response to highplainsdem (Original post)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 04:10 AM

11. But earth is only 6000 years old, someone has some splaining to do

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Response to highplainsdem (Original post)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 08:03 AM

13. So in Creationistville, does that make stone-tipped-spear man a dino-killer?

(Assuming the 200,000 years is 200,000 days in Bible years.)

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Response to highplainsdem (Original post)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 09:06 AM

14. House Republicans present resolution declaring stone tools a theory...nt

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Response to highplainsdem (Original post)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 09:30 AM

15. How can this be? A mere 6,000 years ago we were just talking to snakes and eating apples. nt

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Response to highplainsdem (Original post)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 09:36 AM

16. Impossible. The human body is incapable of fully digesting meat. Hunting has never been...

 

...an important source of food for humans. The only proper natural diet for humans is vegan.

Meat eaters have claws. Herbivores have no claws. Humans have no claws.

Meat eaters have sharp front teeth and canines, and minimal or no molars. Humans have stubby front teeth, minimal canines, and large molars for grinding up vegetable matter.

Meat-eaters have intestinal tract that is only 3 times their body length so that rapidly decaying meat can pass through quickly. Herbivores have intestinal tract 10-12 times their body length. Humans have intestinal tract 10-12 times their body length.

Meat-eaters have strong hydrochloric acid in stomach to digest meat. Herbivores have stomach acid that is 20 times weaker than that of a meat-eater. Humans have stomach acid that is 20 times weaker than that of a meat-eater.

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Response to slackmaster (Reply #16)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 09:58 AM

18. If you are serious, this is as bad as global warming denial.

Human ancestor's were omnivores. Bipedalism and larger brains evolved as a result of our ancestors focusing on a more meat centered diet.

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Response to Ash_F (Reply #18)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 01:18 PM

25. Without, proteins, calories and cholesterol

our brain would be the same as a rabbit brain.

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Response to AlphaCentauri (Reply #25)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 06:41 PM

33. That and just the act of chasing down prey

..got us walking upright and thinking more.

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Response to slackmaster (Reply #16)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 10:04 AM

19. Yum!

That's all well and good, but it ignores that fact that we've actually been eating meat for at least a couple hundred thousand years.

Cute little fuzzy animals are tasty. You get over it.

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Response to slackmaster (Reply #16)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 10:21 AM

20. Yeah, but humans have thumbs

And that made all the difference.

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Response to lunatica (Reply #20)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 05:51 PM

32. Chimpanzees have FOUR opposable thumbs

that never seemed to help them all that much.

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Response to RushIsRot (Reply #32)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 06:41 PM

34. They do eat meat though. /nt

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Response to Ash_F (Reply #34)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 07:30 PM

37. Yes they do,

http://www.janegoodall.org/blogs/janes-first-big-discovery-chimps-eat-meat

In the early 1960's, when Dr. Jane Goodall began her now famous study of the chimpanzees of Gombe National Park, Tanzania, it was thought that chimpanzees were strictly vegetarian. In fact, when Goodall first reported this behavior, many people were skeptical and claimed that meat was not a natural part of the chimpanzee diet. Today, hunting by chimpanzees at Gombe has been well documented (Teleki 1973; Goodall 1986), and hunting has also been observed at most other sites in Africa where chimpanzees have been studied, including Mahale Mountains National Park (Uehara et al. 1992) (also in Tanzania) and Tai National Park in Ivory Coast in West Africa (Boesch and Boesch 1989). At Gombe, we now know that chimpanzees may kill and eat more than 150 small and medium sized animals such as monkeys, wild pigs and small antelopes each year. Chimpanzee society is called fission-fusion, to indicate that there is little cohesive group structure apart from mothers and their infants; instead, temporary subgroupings called parties come together and separate throughout the day. These parties vary in size, in relation to the abundance and distribution of the food supply (Wrangham 1975) and the presence of estrous females (who serve as a magnet for males, Goodall 1986), so the size and membership of hunting parties vary greatly, from a single chimpanzee to as many as 35. The hunting abilities of the party members as well as the number of hunters present can thus influence when a party hunts as well as whether it will succeed in catching a colobus.

http://www-bcf.usc.edu/~stanford/chimphunt.html

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Response to slackmaster (Reply #16)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 10:37 AM

21. You Left Off The Sarcasm Alert.

The other day, weren't you on a full libertarian rant about the LA city council suggesting---not mandating, merely suggesting---one meatless day a week? And now, "...the only proper natural diet for humans is vegan"?

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Response to slackmaster (Reply #16)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 10:42 AM

22. please meet your little friend trypsin



it converts the proteins in meat into amino acids that the body uses.

And yes we would all be better off to eat lower on the food chain but
don't post pseudo science here @ DU.

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Response to Botany (Reply #22)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 11:44 AM

24. Damn, talk about your tenderized steaks.

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Response to Botany (Reply #22)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 08:49 PM

38. That is one brave dude.

Fantastic art piece.

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Response to slackmaster (Reply #16)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 01:33 PM

27. So have a look at the dentition of our friendly vegan cousin, the gorilla:



Humans didn't need that kind of dentition any more after they started cooking meat. Modern dentition is more a function of having tamed fire than of a vegetarian diet.

And incidentally, gorilla teeth are probably like that so they can fall back on meat when their preferred fruits are unavailable.

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Response to slackmaster (Reply #16)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 01:43 PM

29. Humans are omnivores. They can and do eat pretty much whatever comes along,

although they are notably unable to derive any nutrition from grasses, UNLIKE ACTUAL HERBIVORES.

I digest meat just fine. YMMV.

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Response to slackmaster (Reply #16)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 03:42 PM

30. Hook, line and sinker....

 

Well played, sir!

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Response to PavePusher (Reply #30)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 09:12 AM

35. Thank you.

 

I'm trying to decide whether to have a Polish sausage with eggs for breakfast this morning, or head over to my neighborhood pub for fried chicken and eggs with a bottomless Mimosa.

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Response to slackmaster (Reply #35)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 10:18 AM

36. Choices, choices.... mmmmmmmmm..... n/t

 

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Response to slackmaster (Reply #35)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 09:52 PM

39. You're the worst.

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Response to slackmaster (Reply #16)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 05:13 PM

31. Speaking of canine teeth,

open your mouth and run your index finger over the bulges just above your own. That huge root is the vestigal remnant of much larger canine teeth in human ancestors. Our canine teeth got smaller not because we became largely vegetarian but because tool making obviated the necessity to penetrate the fur and skin of prey animals--including, btw, our conspecific hominids.

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Response to okasha (Reply #31)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 09:31 AM

43. plus 100's of thousands of years of humans grinding their teeth..

Cocaine has been around a LONG time

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Response to slackmaster (Reply #16)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 10:19 PM

40. Sounds like you have an agenda

 

Not a meat eater, I'd guess?

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Response to Ter (Reply #40)

Sun Nov 18, 2012, 10:32 PM

41. I was just joining the anti-pseudoscience bandwagon by lampooning a bizarre belief system.

 

Everyone else was so busy goofing on Young Earthers, I thought it was time to give the Uber-Dogmatic Veganists a ration of grief as well.

It's funny how so many DUers didn't recognize my response as satire. I know it's a little close to home for comfort for some of us. There have been people who posted that kind of nonsense on DU who sincerely believed it, even though it has parallels with some elements of Intelligent Design pseudoscience, i.e. our teeth aren't "designed" to eat animal flesh even though they work pretty well for that purpose.

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Response to slackmaster (Reply #16)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 09:53 AM

44. It's a quick rip from hunter-gathering communities to the government forcing us...

It's a quick rip from hunter-gathering communities to the government forcing us to practice cannibalism on Tuesdays.

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Response to LanternWaste (Reply #44)

Mon Nov 19, 2012, 10:28 AM

45. It's all fun and games until dietary "suggestions" from government become official policy

 

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Response to highplainsdem (Original post)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 11:16 AM

23. golly the republicans have`t changed much over the years....

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Response to highplainsdem (Original post)

Sat Nov 17, 2012, 01:26 PM

26. Love is fleeting, but stone tools last forever.

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