Human ancestors threw stone-tipped spears at prey

African finds indicate people weren’t first to hurl weapons from a distance

By Bruce Bower, 15:00 PM November 19, 2013

Stone points unearthed in East Africa served as the business ends of the earliest known throwing spears, which human ancestors used to hunt prey around 279,000 years ago.

Hand-cast spears, consisting of sharpened obsidian tips attached to long, presumably wooden handles, allowed ancient members of the human evolutionary family to hunt animals from a distance and avoid dangerous confrontations with prey, say archaeologist Yonatan Sahle of the University of California, Berkeley and his colleague...

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