Oldest European Neolithic bow discovery


This video says about itself:

Presentation of the archaeology and heritage of the river Guadalquivir in Cordoba, Spain by Cambridge University educated specialist historian and archaeologist, Farhat A. Hussain. An introduction to the value of the Guadalquivir (Wadi al-Kabir) river as an archaeological resource for the study of Cordoba for the Muslim era (711-1236 AD) when Cordoba was capital city of Muslim Iberia (al-Andalus) and comprised the largest and most advanced city in Western Europe.

From Sci-News.com:

June 29th, 2012

By Sergio Prostak

Oldest Neolithic Bow Unearthed in Spain

Spanish archaeologists have unearthed the most ancient Neolithic bow found to date in Europe at the lake site of La Draga.

Archaeological research carried out at the Neolithic site of La Draga, near the lake of Banyoles, has yielded the discovery of an item which is unique in the western Mediterranean and Europe.

The item is a bow which appeared in a context dating from the period between 5400-5200 BC, corresponding to the earliest period of settlement. It is a unique item given that it is the first bow to be found in tact at the site.

According to its date, it can be considered chronologically the most ancient bow of the Neolithic period found in Europe. The study will permit the analysis of aspects of the technology, survival strategies and social organization of the first farming communities which settled in the Iberian Peninsula.

The bow is 108 cm long and presents a plano-convex section. Worth mentioning is the fact that it is made out of yew wood, Taxus baccata, as were the majority of Neolithic bows in Europe.

In previous archaeological campaigns, fragments of two bows were found in 2002 and 2005 also from the same time period, but since they are fragmented it is impossible to analyze the characteristics of these tools. The current discovery opens new perspectives in understanding how these farming communities lived and organized themselves.

These bows could have served different purposes, such as hunting, although if one takes into account that this activity was not all that common at the La Draga area, it cannot be ruled out that the bows may have represented elements of prestige or been related to defensive or confrontational activities.

Remains of bows have been found in Northern Europe dating from between the 8th and 9th centuries BC

sic; probably millennia BC is meant

among hunter-gatherer groups, although these groups were from the Paleolithic period, and not the Neolithic.

Sometimes, the invention of arrows and bows is said to mark the end of the Paleolithic period, and the beginning of the Mesolithic.

The majority of bows from the Neolithic period in Europe can be found in central and northern Europe. Some fragments of these Neolithic bows from central Europe date from the end of the 6th millennium BCE, between 5200-5000 BC, although generally they are from later periods, often more than a thousand years younger than La Draga.

For this reason archaeologists can affirm that the three bows found at La Draga are the most ancient bows in Europe from the Neolithic period.

See also here.

New research reveals effects of the Agricultural Revolution on human evolution: here.

Apologies to Frank Sinatra, but the real Ol’ Blue Eyes has been found—a 7,000-year-old Spaniard whose fossil genes reveal that early Europeans sported blue eyes and dark skin: here.

When humans moved from being hunter-gatherers to farmers, our jaws changed: here.

The first study to compare ancient and living female bones shows the routine manual labor of women during early agricultural eras was more grueling than the physical demands of rowing in Cambridge University’s famously competitive boat clubs. Researchers say the findings suggest a ‘hidden history’ of women’s work stretching across millennia: here.

New research shows same growth rate for farming, non-farming prehistoric people: here.

Newly reported human DNA from a cave in Ethiopia supports previous evidence that a major migration of Eurasians back to Africa occurred sometime between 3,000 and 4,000 years ago (Llorente et al., “Ancient Ethiopian genome reveals extensive Eurasian admixture throughout the African continent,” Science, 12 October 2015). The study by an international team of 19 researchers was based on a genetic sample from a human skeleton, the remains of a hunter-gatherer man, found in a cave, known as Mota, in highland Ethiopia: here.

Goat hairs have been found in a grave structure that was discovered in the 1930s in Kauhava, western Finland. These are the oldest animal hairs found in Finland. From the perspective of Finnish prehistory, the finding supports the evidence of animal husbandry practised during the Corded Ware period, while also revealing details of burial rituals: here.

New Guinea’s Neolithic period may have started without outside help. Artifacts counter the idea that cultural changes sparked by farming were imported from Asia: here.

9 thoughts on “Oldest European Neolithic bow discovery

  1. Pingback: Oldest prehistoric spear discovery in South Africa | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Archaeologists date prehistoric timber structures

    Germany,Human Interest/Society,Science/Tech, Sun, 23 Dec 2012 IANS

    Berlin, Dec 23 (IANS) A research team has successfully dated four prehistoric water wells in Germany, the oldest known timber constructions in the world, built by the first central European agricultural civilization.

    Researchers used the dendrochronology or growth ring dating technique to ascertain the age of the wells, which were excavated in the Greater Leipzig region. They were built by the Linear Pottery culture, which existed from roughly 5,600-4,900 BC.

    The team, led by Willy Tegel and Dietrich Hakelberg from Institute of Forest Growth of the University of Freiburg, Germany, offers a new insight into prehistoric technology, the journal Public Library of Science ONE reports.

    The four early Neolithic wells were constructed from oak wood. Besides timber, many other waterlogged organic materials, such as plant remains, wooden artefacts, bark vessels, and bast fibre cords, as well as an array of richly decorated ceramic vessels, have survived for millennia, hermetically sealed below groundwater level.

    The tests revealed that the wood comes from massive old oak trees felled by early Neolithic farmers with stone adzes (a tool similar to an axe) between 5,206 and 5,098 BC, according to a Freiburg statement.

    Using the state-of-the-art laser scanning technology, the scientists collected data on the timbers and tool marks and documented the highly developed woodworking skills of the early Neolithic settlers.

    The well-preserved tool marks and timber joints testify to unexpectedly sophisticated timber construction techniques.

    In the course of the sixth millennium BC, the nomadic hunting and gathering lifestyle gave way to a sedentary lifestyle with agriculture and stock breeding in central Europe. This break in the history of humankind has been termed the “Neolithic revolution”.

    A sedentary lifestyle required permanent housing, and houses are inconceivable without a developed woodworking technology — in other words, the first farmers were also the first carpenters.

    Until now, however, archaeologists have only succeeded in unearthing the soil marks left by their houses.

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