Monday, 2 February 2015

More on bows, arrows, rock painting and the demise of the mega fauna

Followup on previous post on archery. The oldest bows found in the world are closing on 10,000 years old- bows are made of wood and generally wont survive long on or in the ground. Cave paintings push the date back to 20,000 years ie pictures of figures wielding bow and arrow like objects with prey in the same picture. Some of prey having arrow like sticks stuck into them.

Arrow head like stones around 64,000 years old have been found. This suggests that the bow and arrow has been around a long time. As humans looking for artefacts keep on looking that date will only get older.

At 64,000 years the mega fauna would still have been around. The mega fauna is a term referring to the large animals that were hunted by humans and eventually disappeared from various continents - around 40,000 years or so ago. This is believed to be due to the efficient hunting of our ancestors.

Bow and arrow would have been useful for mega fauna hunting which would have been a dangerous activity. Bow and arrow means being able to maintain a bigger distance and as that video showed several arrows can be rapidly fired in a couple of seconds. Versus poking with a spear or throwing a spear a short distance. If you have a large animal, especially if upset by a wound, or trying to get at you that rapidity of fire and accuracy becomes very important ie the difference between you becoming the prey and remaining the hunter and being able to hunt another day.

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