Indications of bow and stone-tipped arrow use 64 000 years ago in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

  title={Indications of bow and stone-tipped arrow use 64 000 years ago in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa},
  author={Marlize Lombard and Laurel Phillipson},
  pages={635 - 648}
The invention of the bow and arrow was a pivotal moment in the human story and its earliest use is a primary quarry of the modern researcher. Since the organic parts of the weapon – wood, bone, cord and feathers – very rarely survive, the deduction that a bow and arrow was in use depends heavily on the examination of certain classes of stone artefacts and their context. Here the authors apply rigorous analytical reasoning to the task, and demonstrate that, conforming to their exacting checklist… 
Quartz-tipped arrows older than 60 ka: further use-trace evidence from Sibudu, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa
Abstract This paper discusses the results of a detailed functional study of 16 microlithic backed tools made on quartz, and newly excavated at Sibudu Cave, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. The layers
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Comparing and contrasting the structures comprising a traditional bow to those of the modern compound bow will provide insight into how these components function in unison to propel arrows.
Testing for poisoned arrows in the Middle Stone Age: A tip cross-sectional analysis of backed microliths from southern Africa
Abstract Recent work indicated the possibility of hunting with poisoned bone arrowheads more than 60 thousand years ago in southern Africa. The interpretation rests on only a handful of bone points
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Data from velocity-dependent microfracture features, diagnostic damage patterns, and artifact shape reported here indicate that pointed stone artifacts from Ethiopia were used as projectile weapons (in the form of hafted javelin tips) as early as >279,000 years ago, and isolate eastern Africa as a source of modern cultures and biology.
Middle Stone Age pièces esquillées from Sibudu Cave, South Africa: an initial micro-residue study
Abstract In this paper I present the results of a micro-residue study conducted on ten pieces esquillees (scaled pieces) from Sibudu Cave, South Africa. These artefacts are associated with the
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Discussion about early projectile technology typically includes criteria used to distinguish artefacts used as hafted points from those employed for other purposes, associated faunal and lithic


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This paper summarizes the results of a pilot study of the ethnographic and ethnohistorical literature designed to address certain questions concerning the use of stone projectile tips. The term “tip”
70 000-year old geometric backed tools from the Howiesons Poort at Klasies River, South Africa: were they used for hunting?
The Howiesons Poort Industry, with its geometric backed artefacts, has become a well-known typological entity and stratigraphic marker in the Middle Stone Age of South Africa. The Klasies River main
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Projectile weaponry is a human cultural universal, but its origins and antiquity remain poorly understood. Stone- and bone-tipped projectile weapons have long been treated as emergent features of the
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What are the advantages of equipping a wooden arrow with stone, rather than just using the sharpened wooden tip? Very few it seems. In a series of well-controlled experiments the authors show that
Evidence of hunting and hafting during the Middle Stone Age at Sibidu Cave, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa: a multianalytical approach.
  • M. Lombard
  • Geography, Medicine
    Journal of human evolution
  • 2005
The study shows that points from Sibudu Cave were indeed hafted and used as hunting tools, and it was further established that plant twine was probably the preferred binding material to attach the points to wooden hafts.
Experimental use and quantitative performance analysis of triangular flakes (Levallois points) used as arrowheads
The invention and widespread use of projectile weaponry is a characteristic presumed to exist only with Homo sapiens. However, as finds of wooden material during the early development of projectile
The Development of the Bow in Western Europe: A Technological and Functional Perspective
The development and use of archery equipment in prehistoric Europe has always stimulated archaeological interest. Much of the focus of research has been concerned with the temporal origins of the
Possible shell beads from the Middle Stone Age layers of Sibudu Cave, South Africa
Recent excavations at Sibudu Cave, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, uncovered an Iron Age horizon below which is a complex 3 m thick Middle Stone Age sequence with post-Howiesons Poort, Howiesons Poort,
There has been a welcome change in recent years away from classifying lithic implements on purely morphological and stylistic criteria an a much greater interest in, for example, the pro cesses by
The gripping nature of ochre: the association of ochre with Howiesons Poort adhesives and Later Stone Age mastics from South Africa.
  • M. Lombard
  • Biology, Medicine
    Journal of human evolution
  • 2007
The evidence and suggestions presented here expand the understanding of the versatility, use, and value of pigmentatious materials in prehistory; it is not viewed as an alternative or replacement hypothesis for its possible symbolic role during the late Pleistocene.