The ancestors of humans were hunting with stone-tipped spears 500,000 years ago, according to a new study – around 200,000 years earlier than previously thought. This means that the technology must have been developed by an earlier species of human, the last common ancestor of both modern humans and Neanderthals.
The invention of stone-tipped spears was a significant point in human evolution, allowing our ancestors to kill animals more efficiently and have more regular access to meat, which they would have needed to feed ever-growing brains. "It's a more effective strategy which would have allowed early humans to have more regular access to meat and high-quality foods, which is related to increases in brain size, which we do see in the archaeological record of this time," said Jayne Wilkins, an archaeologist at the University of Toronto who took part in the latest research.
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