A study published on Feb. 1 found that an ancient bone fragment is actually America’s oldest known hunting weapon.
The fragment was initially found embedded in the ribs of a mastodon at the Manis site in Washington in the 1970s, but was recently analyzed by researchers at Texas A&M University, according to Ancient Origins. The digital excavation process revealed the fragment was actually a human-made projectile point, proving that humans were hunting mastodons on the American continent as far back as 13,900 years ago, the study found.
The projectile is also morphologically different from those discovered from later civilizations, namely the Clovis culture, which establishment archaeologists continue to argue is the only original culture of complex humans despite vast swathes of evidence suggesting otherwise, Ancient Origins noted.
13,900 yo bone projectile found embedded in a mastodon at Manis, Washington, is the oldest bone point and earliest pre-Clovis direct evidence for hunting in the Americas. pic.twitter.com/5cY4GgTUzx
— Stone Age Herbalist (@Paracelsus1092) February 6, 2023
Along with proof of the first known man-made weapon in the U.S., the researchers argued the discovery “shows that people predating Clovis made and used osseous weapons to hunt megafauna in the Pacific Northwest during the Bølling-Allerød.”
The Bølling-Allerød is the technical name given to the brief warming period prior to the Younger Dryas “mini ice-age” period. (RELATED: Dear Kay: I Watched ‘Ancient Apocalypse’ And Now I’m Scared We’re Going To Die Before 2025)
“We isolated the bone fragments, printed them out, and assembled them,” study author Michael Waters told Ancient Origins. “This clearly showed this was the tip of a bone projectile point. This is the oldest bone projectile point in the Americas and represents the oldest direct evidence of mastodon hunting in the Americas.”