Thursday, November 15, 2012

Push 'Em Back, Way Back

Popular Archeology
Vol. 8 September 2012
“Stone-Tipped Spears Used Much Earlier Than Thought, Say Researchers”

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

For those of you counting, that’s a 40% increase in time span. The points they are showing are sophisticated, thin, well-made ones. This is not likely a new technology. Bearing in mind that, given the reality of the bell curve, fossil finds are most likely to come from near the top of the curve, not an end. That holds true no matter how far back you find the paleo-remains. It means, for example, that one can hypothesize an incipient date for such hafted-weapons (which is what they’re talking about) no less that 200,000 years previous to this new date of 500,000 BCE, and most likely much earlier. If the incipient date were pushed back to 1,000,000 years BCE, it would not be surprising.

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