Re: Bow and Arrow Dating
- From: "Dr.GH" <garyhard@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Wed, 08 Aug 2007 11:39:17 -0700
On Aug 8, 4:26 am, tgdenn...@xxxxxxxxxxxxx wrote:
On Aug 7, 3:35 pm, "Dr.GH" <garyh...@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
On Aug 7, 8:41 am, "J.LyonLayden" <JosephLay...@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
Most books say that the bow and arrow were invented some 15000 to
10000 years ago. This seems strange to me, seeing as how so many stone
age populations around the world have invented the device
independently of one another, and because it is such a simple tool
compared to other artificial devices (tools, weapons, art) in use
before 15,000 years ago.
How do they date the bow and arrow? Is it only through the stone tips?
Why would archeologists have any evidence of bow use before 13,000 BC,
if at that remote time they had simply sharpened the end of the wooden
shaft of an arrow instead of attaching a sharpened stone?
As they say, necessity is the mother of invention. Bow and arrow was
not a particularly good tool for hunting large game prior to the
development of metals. Stone points on large hardwood shafts were the
tools of choice for big game. In the Americas, spears were replaced
by atlatas or throwing sticks, and only very late were the bow and
arrow used. These were well developed in many cultures by the
European conquest. The prefered warfare weapon was still either the
club or the spear. The Eurpean use of guns (IMHO) lead to arrow
inovation of metal points and bow improvements- but only when guns
were not available. And not ling after the European invasion, most
Native Americans had some access to guns. For examples, the French
supplied NA groups to counter the British (and vice versa). The
British armed the Yucatec Maya aginst the Spanish and later Mexican
The small hole made by an arrow lacking a head was not lethal enough
to bother using. Consequently, the discovery of small projectile
points is a good and reliable indication of bow and arrow technology.
This last has been mentioned a couple of times, but for hunting birds
or rabbit-sized critters a blunt arrow is perfectly useful and
probably preferable. The bow might well have been used for such a
purpose pre-13000 bp, by women and children for example, while the
spear/thrower tech was employed for bigger game.
And cows might fly. You must have a positive case, not merely a
plausable case. Now you have introduced a unattested technology, and
an elaborate social model of food procurement (one that lacks
ethnographic or archaeological support BTW).
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