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The Impact of Projectile Weaponry on Late Pleistocene Hominin Evolution

  • John J. Shea
Part of the Vertebrate Paleobiology and Paleoanthropology book series (VERT)

Projectile weaponry is a key component of all recent human subsistence strategies, but its origins and antiquity remain poorly understood. Cross-sectional area variation among North American arrowheads and spearthrower dart tips is used as a criterion for evaluating hypotheses about possible stone projectile points from Eurasian Middle Paleolithic and African Middle Stone Age contexts. Analysis of pointed artifacts from Africa, the Levant, and Europe suggest projectile technology emerged first in Africa, around 50–100 Ka. Projectile technology probably reflects part of a broader pattern of ecological diversification and subsistence intensification among early Homo sapiens populations.

Keywords

Hunting Middle Stone Age Middle Paleolithic stone tools tip cross-section area Africa Levant Europe 

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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • John J. Shea
    • 1
  1. 1.Anthropology DepartmentStony Brook UniversityStony BrookUSA

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