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Sunday, October 26, 2014

Ancient Spear - (c. 400,000 B.C.E)

Humans learn to skill with sharpened poles.

The earliest example fo a sharpened wooden pole, or spear, comes from Schoningen in Germany. There, eight spears where dated to 400,000 B.C.E. The ancient hominid hunters who sharpened each pole used a filnt shaver to cut away the tip to form a pont and then signed the tip in the fire to harden the wood, making it a more effective weapon. A similar technique was used by hunters in Lehringen near Bremen in Germany, where a complete spear was found embedded inside a mammoth skeleton, suggesting such spears were  used mainly for  hunting rhather than warfare or self-defence. The need for food, was so great that a mommoth would be attacked with only a flimsy spear, altthough its use woeld have been more to scare the mammoth in the direction of a trap or pit dug previously than to attack it directly.

Arround 60,000 B.C.E., Neanderthals living in rock shelters and temporary hunting camps in France sharpened small preces of flint and slotted them into the tips of their spears. HUnters in the Sahara used the Sharpened stones in the same way, while CEntral Americans used obsidian, a natural volcanic glass. Around the world, Stone Age people gradually learned how to learn small stones or flints into tiny, sharpened blades known as microliths for use as a spear points. The greatest advance, however, came with the development of metalworking, notably copper in southeast Europe after 5000 B.C.E., followed by bronze, and allory of copper and tin, around 2300 B.C.E., and then iron a millennium later. These new technologies allowed hunters and warriors to make hard, sharp, effective spear points.

"A spear-carrying Hittite warrior in a tenth-century B.C.E. relief form Carchemish on the Turkey-Syria border"