The earliest evidence for mechanically delivered projectile weapons in Europe

Bibliographic Collection: 
Publication Type: Journal Article
Authors: Sano, Katsuhiro; Arrighi, Simona; Stani, Chiaramaria; Aureli, Daniele; Boschin, Francesco; Fiore, Ivana; Spagnolo, Vincenzo; Ricci, Stefano; Crezzini, Jacopo; Boscato, Paolo; Gala, Monica; Tagliacozzo, Antonio; Birarda, Giovanni; Vaccari, Lisa; Ronchitelli, Annamaria; Moroni, Adriana; Benazzi, Stefano
Year of Publication: 2019
Journal: Nature Ecology and Evolution
Volume: 3
Issue: 10
Pagination: 1409 - 1414
Date Published: 2019/10/01
Publication Language: eng
ISBN Number: 2397-334X

Microscopic analysis of backed lithic pieces from the Uluzzian technocomplex (45–40 thousand yr ago) at Grotta del Cavallo (southern Italy) reveals their use as mechanically delivered projectile weapons, attributed to anatomically modern humans. Use-wear and residue analyses indicate that the lithics were hunting armatures hafted with complex adhesives, while experimental and ethnographic comparisons support their use as projectiles. The use of projectiles conferred a hunting strategy with a higher impact energy and a potential subsistence advantage over other populations and species.

Short Title: Nature Ecology & Evolution