By Natural Philosopher Mike Prestwood
Timeline Story

Ancient Spears 350,000 Years Ago

Ancient Spears 350,000 Years Ago

Post Date: 01/01/1994

“By 350,000 years ago, early humans crafted javelin-quality spears.”

This revelation about ancient spears is profoundly enlightening as it demonstrates the advanced cognitive abilities and social cooperation among early humans. Crafting spears of this quality involves not only selecting the right materials and understanding the physics of balancing and sharpening but also strategic planning for hunting, which implies a sophisticated level of communal and cooperative behavior. This innovation marks a significant evolution in hunting tactics, enabling early humans to handle larger prey and gain a strategic advantage in their environment. The introduction of spears signifies not just technological progress but also a crucial adaptation in human survival strategies.

Analysis: In 1994, these artifacts were confirmed through stratigraphic analysis and radiometric dating which placed them solidly within the Middle Pleistocene. The archaeological community received a substantial boost in understanding human prehistory with the discovery of wooden spears from Schöningen, Germany. These well-preserved spears, associated with Homo heidelbergensis, represent some of the earliest clear evidence of purpose-built hunting weapons by humans. The spears indicated not only the use of complex tool-making skills but also early collaborative hunting. This discovery significantly extended our understanding of the technological and cognitive capabilities of Homo heidelbergensis.

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