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Stone Age harpoon uncovered in Timor


A 35,000-year-old harpoon made out of carved bone has been found on the island of Timor.

A team led by archaeologist Sue O’Connor of Australian National University in Canberra has unearthed, in a project that began in 2000, what it regards as the broken butt of a bone harpoon point. Three closely spaced notches were carved on each side of the artifact, above a shaft that tapers to a rounded bottom.

Wear on the notches and residue of a sticky substance close to the bottom suggest the point was tied and glued to a slot on the side of a wooden handle or inserted into a split hollow shaft, the researchers report January 15 in the Journal of Human Evolution.

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Story: Bruce Bower, Science News | Photo: S. O’Connor

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