Did Chucking Stones Make Us More Human?
A fossil site in the Republic of Georgia yields clues to humankind’s first missiles.
DMANISI, GeorgiaThey are the size of hens’ eggs. They are oblong. They are grey. They are categorically ordinary. Aside from numbers inked onto their surfaces for cataloging purposes, they look like a quadrillion other natural stones scattered across the face of the Earth.
“The evidence is circumstantial,” Ferring, an American archaeologist, admits. “But we’ve got some good indications they were thrown.”
He is talking about prehistoric pitching.
Hundreds of such nondescript cobbles have been unearthed near the remains of prey animals at Dmanisi, an important hominin site in the forested hills of the former Soviet republic of Georgia.
Ferring’s drab cobbles could be the oldest weapons in the world.
“The Dmanisi people were small. They weren’t very powerful, they didn’t have fangs or claws,” says