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Bow and arrow origins traced to Africa

Arrowheads dating back 64,000 years have been found in South Africa, pushing back the age and origins of the bow and arrow.

“The invention of the bow and arrow used to be closely linked to the late Upper Paleolithic (Stone Age) in Europe,” less than 30,000 years ago, says anthropologist Marlize Lombard of South Africa’s University of Johannesburg, in a study in the current Journal of Archaeological Science.

Last year, however, Lombard and her colleagues reported in the journal Antiquity, that arrows were around at least 64,000 years ago, and were first discovered not in Europe, but in South Africa. A single quartz arrowhead, bloodstained, had turned up at the Sibudu Cave site, dating to that time. In the new Journalof Archaeological Science study, Lombard reports more arrowheads and more evidence pushing back the age of the bow and arrow.

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Story: Dan Vergano, USA Today | Photo: USA Today

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