South African archaeologists have learned to recognize the impact marks on the copies of the animal bones and found that it was thrown weapons known to man, no later than 90,000 years ago.
In order to establish that the traces of missile weapons, the researchers turned to modeling. Scientists have reconstructed stone darts and spears, and then run them in the corpses of cows and sheep. Or animal body buried in soil, or digested, followed by bone were examined under a microscope. As a control, in addition to throwing the researchers used as a cutting and thrusting weapon – stone knives and axes.
The researchers found that traces of projectile weapons are easy to install by microscopy – in the bones of animals are microscopic particles of flint, knocked out of the tip of a collision. At a low impact velocity, that is, when using other weapons, such particles at the fault remains.
The new criterion allowed us to establish a thriving nature of the wounds on the bones found earlier. Two samples of the age of 91 and 98,000 years old respectively, were found in a cave at Pinnacle Point, South Africa, and was found to contain particles of stone tip. According to the researchers, a new study to determine them as the oldest direct evidence of the use of projectile weapons.
German archaeologists have recently reported the discovery of the oldest known stone weapons – for the spear tip. His age was about 300,000 years old.