FMAT: The World's First Stabbing?

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Sep 11, 2006
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The World's First Stabbing?
By arnisador - 07-22-2009 10:40 AM
Originally Posted at: FMATalk


Human Stabbed a Neanderthal, Evidence Suggests

Newly analyzed remains suggest that a modern human killed a Neanderthal man in what is now Iraq between 50,000 and 75,000 years ago. The finding is scant but tantalizing evidence for a theory that modern humans helped to kill off the Neanderthals.

The probable weapon of choice: A thrown spear.
The team also ran experiments with a specially calibrated crossbow, which they used to deliver stone-pointed spears with different forces to simulate a thrusting spear and a long-range projectile weapon like a dart.

The weapons were thrust into pig and other animal carcasses. "Pigs make a pretty good model for Neandertal thoraces," Churchill told LiveScience. "The ribs are about the same stoutness and overall same size. And the musculature and skin thickness and things like that are pretty similar from what we can tell."

Then, the researchers compared the wounds created by the different scenarios, finding the thrusting spears did lots of damage, breaking multiple ribs.

"With the projectile weapon, even though it's traveling faster, it's a lot lighter and it tends to make distinct cut marks in the bones without injuring surrounding bones. That's like what we saw in Shanidar 3," Churchill said.


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