Oldest spear

Glenn Morton (grmorton@psyberlink.net)
Thu, 27 Feb 1997 22:41:29 -0600

There apparently is a report in this week's Nature Magazine which
reports the discovery. I want to thank Gene Godbold for pointing this out to
me. The Washington post story says

The discovery of these spears along with some notched wooden tools which may
have been handles for stone tools.They were found 35 feet below the surface
in the soil covering for a strip mine.

The three spears were 6 to 7 feet long, 2 inches in diameter, and were
balanced exactly like a modern Javelin. The spears center of gravity was
1/3 of the way from the tip. They were made with stone tools from saplings.

The behavior behind these spears was complex. Robin Dennell says that the
skills required to produce these spears were those which are normally
attributed to human beings.

Interestingly, while some question whether or not these were designed for
throwing, apparently a 500,000 year old rhinoceros bone in England has a
hole which could have been made by such a spear.

The Article goes on to talk about how anthropology during the past 30 years
came to believe that these ancient men were merely shadows of ourselves but
how this evidence clearly refutes that view. Archaic men were viewed as mere
scavengers. The fact that these people lived in a cold Europe really argues
against the scavanging idea because often in cold climes there is not enough
animals to support tribes of people by that means.

To make and use the spears required complex toolmaking abilities (man is
the only being who uses a toolto make another tool), required a social
organization sufficient to engage in cooperative hunts. The articles I have
read do not mention this but this discovery also fits with the 300,000 year
old homo erectus village found at Bilingsleben, Germany. They built huts,
had a centrally paved area, and a work area where chipped wood and wood
shavings were found. Apparently the Bilzingslebenites were also busy
working in wood 300,000 years ago. There is also a report of a vertebrate
animal drawn on a bone from the site of Bilzingsleben.

Other evidence of ancient woodwork among homo-erectus include the
240-800,000 year old wooden plank from Gesher Benot Ya'aqov, Israel (S.
Belitszky et al, "A Middle Pleistocene Wooden Plank with man-made Polish,"
Journal of Human Evolution, 1991, 20:349-353.). Thre is a spear from
Clacton on Sea England which dates to 350,000 years ago and the Lehringen
spear from 125,000 years ago.(Paul Mellars, The Neanderthal Legacy,
(Princeton: University Press, 1996), p. 227)

In addition to this, there is the fact that Homo erectus has been found on
the Island of Flores Indonesia in rocks dated 800,000 years ago. since this
would have required an ocean voyage this may be indirect evidence of
woodworking from that time. The fact that 116-176,000 year old art has
been found on Australia, means a definite over the horizon ocean voyage.
This too would be indirect evidence of wood work long ago.
(see(P.Y. Sondaar, et al., "Middle Pleistocene faunal turnover and
Colonization of Flores(Indonesia) by Homo erectus," Comptes Rendus de
l'Academie des Sciences. Paris 319:1255-1262 and Paul G. Bahn, "Further Back
Down Under," Nature, Oct 17, 1996, p. 577)

I have long stated my belief that homo erectus and the archaic homo sapiens,
who do not look exactly like modern man (requiring evolution) were human in
every sense, I consider this evidence confirmatory of my views. Is there
any other christian apologetical viewpoint which can make the same claim?
Most of them, like Hugh Ross, will be forced to state why they do not
believe spear making is a human activity. and could be carried out by
souless apes. Why is it that Christians would prefer to always explain why
new discoveries do not mean what everyone else says they mean, to a
viewpoint which easily incorporates, even predicts, such discoveries?


Foundation, Fall and Flood