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Mon Sep 17, 2012, 08:58 AM

Skilled Hunters 300,000 Years Ago


One of the most completely preserved spears. (Credit: Nicholas J. Conard, Universität Tübingen)

ScienceDaily (Sep. 17, 2012) — Finds from early stone age site in north-central Germany show that human ingenuity is nothing new -- and was probably shared by now-extinct species of humans.

Archeologists from the University of Tübingen have found eight extremely well-preserved spears -- an astonishing 300,000 years old, making them the oldest known weapons anywhere. The spears and other artifacts as well as animal remains found at the site demonstrate that their users were highly skilled craftsmen and hunters, well adapted to their environment -- with a capacity for abstract thought and complex planning comparable to our own. It is likely that they were members of the species Homo heidelbergensis, although no human remains have yet been found at the site.

The project is headed by Prof. Nicholas Conard and the excavations are supervised by Dr. Jordi Serangeli, both from the University of Tübingen's Institute of Prehistory, which has been supporting the local authority's excavation in an open-cast brown coal mine in Schöningen since 2008. They are applying skills from several disciplines at this uniquely well-preserved site find out more about how humans lived in the environment of 300,000 years ago.

The bones of large mammals -- elephants, rhinoceroses, horses and lions -- as well as the remains of amphibians, reptiles, shells and even beetles have been preserved in the brown coal. Pines, firs, and black alder trees are preserved complete with pine cones, as have the leaves, pollen and seeds of surrounding flora.

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Reply Skilled Hunters 300,000 Years Ago (Original post)
xchrom Sep 2012 OP
xocet Sep 2012 #1
xchrom Sep 2012 #2
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alfredo Sep 2012 #3
eppur_se_muova Sep 2012 #4
xchrom Sep 2012 #5

Response to xchrom (Original post)

Mon Sep 17, 2012, 03:00 PM

1. Thanks for the very interesting post....

Here is the German site that is dedicated to that dig site:


Here is the first paragraph from the page that is about the spears:

Die Schöninger Speere

Schöningen im Jahr 1994: Im Rahmen einer Rettungsgrabung machen Archäologen im Schöninger Tagebauwerk eine Entdeckung, die unser Bild des Urmenschen auf den Kopf stellt. Inmitten eines Jagdlagerplatzes finden sie mehr als 10.000 Knochen von mehreren Wildpferden sowie sieben Holzspeere, eine Lanze und ein Wurfholz. Eine echte Weltsensation. Denn: niemals zuvor wurden so alte und vollständig erhaltene Jagdwaffen gefunden. Mehr als 300.000 Jahre haben die Fundstücke auf ihre Entdeckung gewartet.


(rough translation)

The Spears from Schöningen

Schöningen, 1994: In the course of a salvage excavation, archaeologists make a discovery in the strip mine that turns our picture of prehistoric humans on its head. In the middle of a hunting depot, they find more than 10,000 bones from many wild horses as well as seven wooden spears, a lance and a hunting boomerang. A truly earth-shattering event. That is: Never before have such old hunting weapons been found in such complete condition. These artifacts have waited 300,000 years for their discovery.



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Response to xocet (Reply #1)

Mon Sep 17, 2012, 03:05 PM

2. +1

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Mon Sep 17, 2012, 05:35 PM

3. k

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Response to eppur_se_muova (Reply #4)

Mon Sep 17, 2012, 06:07 PM

5. +1

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