Earliest Evidence Of Human Development Suggests We Were Hunting In 52,000 BC

Shutterstock/Mandrin France

Kay Smythe News and Commentary Writer
Font Size:

A study published Wednesday claims humans were using bow and arrow technology 54,000 years ago.

Evidence from Grotte Mandrin in southern France suggests the previous archaeological consensus that bow-and-arrow and spear-throwing-and-dart combination weapons appeared suddenly some 45,000 to 42,000 years ago might need to be dismissed. A study published by Science Advances pushes this time frame back significantly to 52,000 BC.

The tools uncovered by the researchers used standardized points, some clustering at only one centimeter in length. The development had never been seen before in archaeological research within the region, and may be why early Homo sapiens overtook Neanderthals as the dominant human species.

The researchers argue the results of the study document the earliest migration of humans into what were considered Neanderthal territories in the Rhone Valley, France. (RELATED: Mayan ‘Superhighways’ Suggest We Need To Rethink How Advanced Our Ancestors Really Were)

“We also show that these highly controlled technologies were unknown locally among Neanderthals groups like elsewhere in Eurasia,” the authors wrote in the discussion of their results. “The use of these advanced technologies may be of crucial importance in the understanding of the remarkable expansion of the modern populations.”

The study is the latest in a slew of global discoveries that continue to push back the timeline on human development. For example, researchers uncovered a 1.2 million-year-old factory run by a mystery human species in Ethiopia in 2022, suggesting at least one species of our ancestors was working at mass scale far into our past.