Oldest arrowheads outside of Africa found in Sri Lankan Rainforest | Daily News


 

Oldest arrowheads outside of Africa found in Sri Lankan Rainforest

Sri Lankan cave yielded artifacts dating to roughly 48,000 years ago, including a notched bone possibly used to make nets (top), a monkey tooth that may have served as a knife (middle) and a possible bone arrowhead (bottom), a study finds.
Sri Lankan cave yielded artifacts dating to roughly 48,000 years ago, including a notched bone possibly used to make nets (top), a monkey tooth that may have served as a knife (middle) and a possible bone arrowhead (bottom), a study finds.

Archaeological excavations deep within the rainforests of Sri Lanka have unearthed the earliest evidence for hunting with bows and arrows outside Africa.

At Fa-Hien Lena, a cave in the heart of Sri Lanka’s wet zone forests, numerous tools made of stone, bone, and tooth – including a number of small arrow points carved from bone which are about 48,000 years old were discovered, says a team led by archaeologist Michelle Langley of Griffith University in Brisbane, Australia.

Microscopic analyses of 130 of those bone points revealed surface cracks and other damage caused by high-speed impacts, likely because these artifacts were used as arrowheads, Langley and her colleagues conclude June 12 in Science Advances.

Bow-and-arrow hunting at the Sri Lankan site likely focused on monkeys and smaller animals, such as squirrels, Langley says. Remains of these creatures were found in the same sediment as the bone points.

Currently, the oldest evidence for the use of the bow and arrow are small stone points found in the Sibudu cave in South Africa, which are some 64,000 years old.

(Science News)


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