Saturday, April 25, 2020

300,000-year-old throwing stick documents the evolution of hunting

Hunters on the Schöningen lakeshore likely used the throwing stick to hunt waterbirds.

Homo heidelbergensis used wooden weapons to hunt waterbirds and horses

Ice Age hunters in northern Europe were highly skilled and used a wide range of effective weapons. A wooden throwing stick found by the team of the University of Tübingen and the Senckenberg Center for Human Evolution and Paleoenvironment in Schöningen, Lower Saxony, Germany, highlights the complexity of early hunting. The discovery is presented in a new paper in Nature Ecology & Evolution.

Research at Schöningen demonstrates that already 300,000 years ago Homo heidelbergen-sis used a combination of throwing sticks, spears and thrusting lances. Prof. Nicholas Conard and Dr. Jordi Serangeli, who lead the research team, attribute the exceptional dis-covery to the outstanding preservation of wooden artifacts in the water saturated lakeside sediments in Schöningen. 

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