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Throwing Stones

20 August 2016

At http://popular-archaeology.com/issue/summer-2016/article/tools-as-weapons/ … is a report on a study in the journal Scientific Reports (August 2016) hwich is about the use of round stones at an ancient site in the Makapan Valley in South Africa dating back between 1.8 million and 70,000 years ago (a deep layer of cave sediment has been dug out). It is known as the Cave of Hearths and the authors have been pitting their minds as to what use these early people might have had for round stones. Sling shots seem out of the question that long ago so the thinking is that round stones were chosen specifically for throwing at game (during hunting) or at enemies (approaching the cave entrance). Such stones were probably used as tools also – to pound vegetable fibres and to pound other tools to produce a flat surface. Throwing stones is logical in the period prior to the invention of wooden spears or the bow and arrow.

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