Archery Vindicated!

The Old World is a reference to those parts of Earth known to Europeans before the voyages of Christopher Columbus; it includes Europe, Asia and Africa.

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Minimalist
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Archery Vindicated!

Post by Minimalist » Fri Jun 06, 2008 9:08 am

http://www.int.iol.co.za/index.php?set_ ... 569C413057
Two researchers from Wits University believe that what they have discovered is a 60 000-year-old arrow that was fired from the earliest known bow. Their discovery has pushed back the origins of bow-and-arrow technology by 20 000 years.

The bow, probably made of wood and long since decayed, was used at a time when Neanderthals in Europe were using large spears in duels with woolly mammoths and other large prehistoric game.
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Something is wrong here. War, disease, death, destruction, hunger, filth, poverty, torture, crime, corruption, and the Ice Capades. Something is definitely wrong. This is not good work. If this is the best God can do, I am not impressed.

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Post by Digit » Fri Jun 06, 2008 12:05 pm

I wonder what weapons the Mammoths used in that duel?

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Post by Rokcet Scientist » Fri Jun 06, 2008 4:41 pm

Hey guys, if that bow and arrow are 60,000 years old, I think we may have a problem. Or perhaps it is an opportunity: shouldn't we re-appraise the atlatl in that light too? If the atlatl was the bow's predecessor that would make it a very ancient tool/weapon, does it not?
Care to philosophize about the ramifications that might have?

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Post by Minimalist » Fri Jun 06, 2008 4:58 pm

There are pistols, shotguns and rifles in use at the same time. It does depend on the target.

Again, why the automatic assumption that our forefathers were so blooming stupid that they could only use one weapon at a time?

I'd think that there is no problem with using a bow/arrow for small, agile targets.... an atlatl for a long range attack on a big animal and a thrusting spear for the coup d'grace.

It wouldn't surprise me to learn that a stone age hunter also kept a big, man-eating club handy to deal with interlopers.
Something is wrong here. War, disease, death, destruction, hunger, filth, poverty, torture, crime, corruption, and the Ice Capades. Something is definitely wrong. This is not good work. If this is the best God can do, I am not impressed.

-- George Carlin

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Post by Rokcet Scientist » Mon Jun 09, 2008 4:45 am

Minimalist wrote:There are pistols, shotguns and rifles in use at the same time. It does depend on the target.
Of course, IF you have a choice! I go from the assumption they didn't.
Again, why the automatic assumption that our forefathers were so blooming stupid that they could only use one weapon at a time?
Because it was sixty thousand years ago and there weren't any decadent MacDonald's or Burgerkings yet? 1) They didn't have the luxury of choice, and 2) they didn't have the benefit of knowledge, 3) they didn't have the convenience of experience, 4) they didn't have the internet to read how it's done.
And that is reinforced by the common acceptance that Neandertals used only short thrusting spears. Not throwing javelins, nor atlatls, nor bows and arrows!

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Post by War Arrow » Mon Jun 09, 2008 6:40 am

Or you could argue they didn't have so many of the distractions that tend to go with choice - personally I suspect that when a huge amount of one's time is (in theory) dedicated to either hunting or thinking about hunting, chances are that someone is going to come up with the odd new idea every now and then. Even chimps demonstrate the odd moment of insight when it comes to handling tools.
That's my one point three pence / two cents.
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Javelins

Post by Cognito » Mon Jun 09, 2008 6:49 am

Not throwing javelins, nor atlatls, nor bows and arrows!
Don't overlook the 380,000 year old throwing javelins found in Germany, made of spruce. Seven of them, five long and two short, front-weighted. Someone spent some time thinking about that design before carving them. (An HSS in a Wayback Machine?) :D
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Post by rich » Mon Jun 09, 2008 7:26 am

Hmm - mankind has been around on this planet for how many years?? And modern man has enough arrogance to think only he could come up with so many advances in knowledge in how few thousand years?? Maybe that's why we get so amazed that they had this or that back then. The possibility also exists that they had a lot more than what we find. As with anything else I think we are only scraping the tip of the iceberg when we find this tool or that.
Sort of like saying "they had boats during the stoneages but they sank like a rock." :D
There doesn't have to be a major catastrophe for iron and steel to rust beyond recognition over the course of 70 to 80 thousand years, or for wood to rot to nothingness in that time span. Of course a major volcanic eruption would do fantastic at burying a major part of any civilization beneath so much rock and melt any form of other technology beyond recognition too.
I'm not saying that happened - only that it seems so impossible to think only modern man has come up with so much in such a short period of time. Maybe all we're finding are the dregs of some civilizations from hundreds of thousands of years ago. Of course they had language - like an old friend of mine told someone who asked him "does that dog of yours bite?" - "He's got all the equipment for it." Well, could ancient man speak - he had all the equipment for it. Could he think? What do you think? Could he make stuff? Can we? Have we dug down five miles beneath the surface on every inch of the planet including beneath the sea?
i'm not lookin' for who or what made the earth - just who got me dizzy by makin it spin

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Post by Minimalist » Mon Jun 09, 2008 8:04 am

And modern man has enough arrogance

That's the answer to your question, Rich. The answer is "Yes."

R/S - a "spear" is effectively a stick. Unless it has a stone head, or is carefully or accidentally preserved, it is not going to last long. Atlatls's and arrows are essentially smaller sticks.

Let's hope that in 10,000 years archaeologists don't dig up a bronze cannon at a Civil War memorial and conclude that it was used by us to hunt mammoths. Time tends to blur distinctions.
Something is wrong here. War, disease, death, destruction, hunger, filth, poverty, torture, crime, corruption, and the Ice Capades. Something is definitely wrong. This is not good work. If this is the best God can do, I am not impressed.

-- George Carlin

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Post by Rokcet Scientist » Mon Jun 09, 2008 11:50 pm

Minimalist wrote:R/S - a "spear" is effectively a stick. Unless it has a stone head, or is carefully or accidentally preserved, it is not going to last long. Atlatls's and arrows are essentially smaller sticks.
I don't get it, Min. What's your point? I don't think I contested or denied the 'survivability' – or rather the lack of it – of wooden weapons. I didn't even raise that issue at all!
My point was that I wouldn't be surprised to find they may have used only one weapon – like the Neandertals did, as is generally assumed – not because they were stupid (I'm not saying they were or weren't), but because 1) they didn't have the luxury of choice, and 2) they didn't have the benefit of knowledge, and 3) they didn't have the convenience of experience.
Nothing to do with the 'latency', or lack of it, of wooden implements.

A century ago all cars were black. Simply because people hadn't caught on yet that they could be yellow, blue, or red too. Nothing to do with presumed stupidity, but everything with the then lack of choice, lack of knowledge (of the possibilities), and lack of experience.

40 years ago computers were huge, beige, steel cabinets occupying a class room. Today they fit in the palm of your hand, have every color under the sun – and then some, and are made of finely worked aluminium, exotic plastics and glass types, or even of carbon fiber.
They weren't stupid, 40 years ago. They simply didn't know any better yet, nor had the technological means developed yet.

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Post by Minimalist » Tue Jun 10, 2008 8:32 am

The point, R/S, is that far too many archaeologists subscribe to the "if-I-can't-find-it-they-did-not-have-it" school of thought. It goes for spears/arrows as well as boats.

Preservation of any primarily organic item is hit or miss and finding it is even more problematical. Then, if you satisfy both of those conditions you still face the final hurdle of recognizing it for what it was.

The "floating mats of vegetation" to get to Australia idea shows just how far some archaeologists will go to deny the likelihood of (organic) boats.
Something is wrong here. War, disease, death, destruction, hunger, filth, poverty, torture, crime, corruption, and the Ice Capades. Something is definitely wrong. This is not good work. If this is the best God can do, I am not impressed.

-- George Carlin

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Post by Rokcet Scientist » Tue Jun 10, 2008 8:55 am

Sure, Min. Absence of evidence is of course not evidence of absence. But I had hoped this place was beyond that level of reasoning already. I am.

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Post by Minimalist » Tue Jun 10, 2008 9:51 am

I think that is just a convenient fall back position, R/S. "Absence of evidence" IS "evidence of absence", it is just not 'proof' of absence. The whole question revolves around the reasonableness of expecting organic remains in a moist climate 40,000 years later and then concluding when you don't find them that they never existed. It's the last bit that is the stretch.
Something is wrong here. War, disease, death, destruction, hunger, filth, poverty, torture, crime, corruption, and the Ice Capades. Something is definitely wrong. This is not good work. If this is the best God can do, I am not impressed.

-- George Carlin

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Post by rich » Sat Jun 14, 2008 1:01 pm

That's an ongoing thing with them - they never say "well, we haven't any evidence of it but the possibility is there." They seem to do that with everything.
i'm not lookin' for who or what made the earth - just who got me dizzy by makin it spin

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