Humans Used Spears for Hunting 200,000 Years Earlier Than Believed
Human ancestors were making spears to hunt 500,000 years ago â€“ 200,000 years earlier than previously thought, a study has revealed. The collaborative study, published in the journal Science, found the stone-tipped weapons at the South African archaeological site of Kathu Pan 1. Attaching stone points to spears (known as â€œhaftingâ€) was an important advance in hunting weaponry for early humans. 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.
â€œThere is a reason that modern bow-hunters tip their arrows with razor-sharp edges. These cutting tips are extremely lethal when compared to the effects from a sharpened stick. Early humans learned this fact earlier than previously thought,â€ Benjamin Schoville, a coauthor of this study affiliated with the Institute of Human Origins at Arizona State University, said. â€œAlthough both Neandertals and humans used stone-tipped spears, this is the first evidence that this technology originated prior to or near the divergence of these two species.â€