To my knowledge, bow and arrow technology was not introduced until way after the passing of the neanderthals. First it was spear throwing-thrusting followed by the atl atl and then the bow and arrow. Of course the timing of the adoption of each of these technologies differed by region, but the sequence is always the same. Regardless, an interesting and thought provoking article.
This article reminded me of an article I read along time ago in Physical Anthropology where the author had compared the bone fractures of Neanderthals to select high risk occupation of today. The conclusion was that their injuries most closely resembled those suffered by rodeo riders, particularly bull riders. To me, that was a telling observation.
My earlier memories of school and prehistory being taught was of generic 'cavemen', in this the suggestion was that the cavemen chased the Mammoths into pre-prepared pits. Could those early history lessons have had a point as the jabbing right arm and the comparison of their fractures to the Rodeo (corralling), could perhaps support such a notion.
Well, I never though of a Neanderthal using arrow and bow.. they had short limbs and I am pretty sure they where waiting to ambush their prey, in groups. Bow and arrow sounds more like a nimble hunter, small groups....and arrows for sure don't look so helpful if you take the animal skin into account...
They were probably isolating small or wounded prey, and piercing their abs, running away afterwards. Sooner or later the animal would surely left behind, and then you finish the job, with stone and stone axes.
They are supposed to have hunted mammoths as well. Smaller prey would have been more difficult to approach and hit with a spear and they would have needed a lot more of it to sustain their numbers. Pre-injured or sick prey might not have been abundant enough.
Yeah, I read and watch just about everything I can on early human and human ancestors. You frequently hear how neanderthals commonly show the injuries of rodeo workers, with many many long healed fractures. They lived a very physical and dangerous life and took a very hands on approach with their hunting it seems.
That's not too far off from what most depictions are of. They surround the prey and stab it, cornering it possibly. Risking getting trampled and gorged by a tusk or bison horn, crushed by hooves and kicked by horses. They weren't dumb beasts and they were around a lot longer than we have been around so far. I imagine there was novel problem solving and varying techniques, such as herding towards traps and ambushes, etc, it's not like they were beasts without the mind to think abstractly.
One theory on the Neanderthal's hunting methods stated that the thrusting method was used as opposed to spear throwing (much safer) due to their anatomy. Apparently, their muscular structure did not allow for the overhand throwing action. That inability is observable in Chimps. While Chimps do throw things they throw underhand and seemingly without aiming - they just throw shit into the air as part of the bluff and bluster routine.
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