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Curiously, spearheads used in Chinese martial arts are socketed: the triangular section composed of the point and edges is cast with or welded to a hollow cylindrical section which fits over a shaft. Much earlier in time, spearpoints had to be carved or chiseled from a single piece of bone or stone, and one had to include a haft. This would be a more or less rectangular section designed to be thick enough to maintain integrity but thin enough so the spear could be thrown. The haft would be slotted into a carefully split end of the shaft. Generally this involved gluing or tying cord to help hold the haft in place. When it comes to hunting large game that might not like humans very much, throwing a spear, especially when (later) aided by an atlatl, has the huge advantage over having to get close enough to pierce with a knife.

For quite some time, it was believed that hafted spearpoints were first used about 300,000 years ago.

But in 2012 reports from the South African archaeological site of Kathu Pan 1 moved this date 200,000 years earlier. “Evidence for Early Hafted Hunting Technology” was published in the November 16, 2012 issue of Science. I believe the best guess is representatives of Homo heidelbergensis should get credit for this breakthrough discovery

 

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