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Archers in Sri Lanka Hunted Monkeys 48,000 Years Ago

Projectile tips found in Sri Lanka

In a paper published June 12, 2020, scientists argued they found the oldest known use of bow and arrows outside of Africa at the Sri Lankan site of Fa-Hien Lena. While bows are less likely to survive the ravages of time, arrowheads are generally made of more durable materials. However, not all points are for use with a bow and arrow. So, what evidence is there for archers in Sri Lanka 48,000 years ago?

The scientists involved in the study cite the location, size and weight of the tips as evidence of their use with a bow. The cave is located in a rainforest, where typical arboreal mammal hunting (before firearms) was done with either a bow and arrow or a blowgun. The tips are too large to be from a blowgun.

“The size, form, and damage found on many of the bone points were best explained by their having been used as arrow tips to hunt difficult-to-catch rainforest prey, rather than spears,” Lead Author Dr. Michelle Langley of Griffith University told Sci-News. “The fractures on the points indicated damage through high-powered impact — something usually seen in bow-and-arrow hunting of animals.”

Unlike the archers in Sri Lanka, we won’t be hunting any monkeys on our range in Lincoln City. However, you can stop them from stealing coconuts for a limited time.

At Lincoln City Archery, we focus on traditional archery at our indoor range. Our recurve bows are light enough to accommodate most healthy adults and children ages eight and up (though we have had younger archers able to pull our 15# bow). Our quiet shooting area allows you to focus on your form, your inner self, and your own power. While archery still provides some people with the ability to put dinner on the table, it has evolved to allow others a good form of recreation, exercise, and self-empowerment. Learn archery to help you get more in touch with your body and mind. Book your space today.

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