the Neanderthal was able to kill prey at a great distance. This is the result of researchers at the University College London in an original study.

reports in the journal “Scientific Reports”, they were trained athletes, replicas of the famous “Schöninger spears”, which have been found in lower Saxony. The result: The athletes were able to hit targets up to a distance of 20 meters, and with a force that would have killed a prey animal.

Previously, it was assumed that the Neanderthals (Homo neanderthalensis), an extinct Relative of modern humans, was able to use his weapons only in a limited Radius, as he staggered about his prey a mortal blow or his spear a short distance threw. The work of the archaeologist, Annemieke Milks and your team is now a further indication that this idea is wrong.

The researchers had initially an exact replica of a beautiful Inger spear making. These throwing spears from the Palaeolithic were found between 1994 and 1998, during excavations in mining brown coal in Schöningen in lower Saxony. The approximately 300,000 years old, from spruce and pine wood-made weapons are considered to be the oldest completely preserved hunting weapons in the world and are attributed to the Homo heidelbergensis. The dividing line between him and the Neanderthal, however, is fluent, so that the researchers from London speak of spears of the Neanderthal.

The Hand-made of spruce wood made spears weighed between 760 and 800 grams, the weight of the original close. After six spearmen tested whether the weapons could be used to hit a target at a distance. They threw the spears at hay Bales that were placed in different distance.

The result: The athletes met the haystack up to 20 meters, and with a force that would have been for a prey animal to be fatal. For study leader Milks the is a clear evidence that the Neanderthals sent quite technologically and been able to hunt big game with different strategies.

the sophistication of the originals speaks: her focus is not in the center but towards the top of the. The tip was, in turn, slightly displaced to the soft marrow, which is the most vulnerable place of the tribe. In addition, the early people chose trunks of trees, which were grown very slowly. This had accordingly, on many tree rings, but a small diameter, making it an ideal Material for weapons.

The archaeologist Jordi Serangeli, University of Tübingen, who was not involved in the study, stresses that the use of spears is a highly complex skill, planning and a multi-part work chain requires. “You need tools to chop a tree, then to the spears to produce and edit. Not least, these tools need to be produced first of all.”

According to an interesting study from London, the head of the excavations in Schöningen. “The work is a further proof that humans 300,000 years ago were not modern humans, only a little similar, but in many aspects even identical, if you look around your motor skills.” Therefore, the arrogance of Homo sapiens is misplaced, the “Neanderthal” as a dirty word use.

Similar to Felix Hillgruber, curator manifests itself at the Paläon, to draw the specially for the spears built a Museum and research center: “The study allows us a better picture of the past.” The discovery of the beautiful Inger, the current assumptions have overturned spears on the Paleolithic completely. “In the 70s and 80s, it was assumed that our ancestors were from this time, scavengers and opportunistic hunters.” The spears showed that the people from the middle Pleistocene were instead, with apex predators like lions and saber-toothed cats.

in addition to seven wood were found in Schöningen, a shock lance and a shorter throwing stick spears. “The people had at the time, so we have a whole Kit of weapons that they could use for different hunting situations to cope with,” archaeologist Serangeli. Nevertheless, the current study documents that the spears were used to Throw to wide, is the archaeologist sure that they had a wide variety of applications. “If I meet a saber-toothed cat, I’m going to think twice about whether I my single spear after you throw it.”

dpa