Thursday, June 27, 2013

Sticks and Stones

Evidence suggest that humans learned to throw pretty early, perhaps 1.8 million years ago or so.  It seems unlikely that Homo Erectus could throw as well as modern man - shoulders too narrow - but they do show other anatomical changes supporting a good throw.  The question then becomes, why?

I'm not very confident that even modern fireballing pitchers could drive a group of hyenas or lions off their kill with nothing but rocks and sharp sticks.  Neither is it likely that such weapons would be very good at killing any kind of big game like a zebra or large antelope.

Bird, rabbits and other small prey look like plausible targets though.  Anything much smaller than 20 kilograms is probably pretty vulnerable to a hard thrown rock.