Ancient blades served as early weapons

African find reveals complex toolmaking 71,000 years ago

By Erin Wayman, 13:00 PM November 7, 2012

Archery may be an ancient pastime. Humans started making the components for arrows at least 71,000 years ago, archaeologists report online November 7 in Nature.

Kyle Brown of the University of Cape Town in South Africa and his colleagues unearthed thin stone blades at South Africa’s Pinnacle Point cave that appear to be arrow tips. The tiny artifacts were made from a type of stone called silcrete that had first been heated to make the rock easier to chip. Blunt edges indicate that people h...

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