Archaeology Magazine

A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America

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Stone Age Harpoon Discovered in Timor

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

(S. O’Connor)

CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA—A piece of a 35,000-year-old complex hunting weapon has been discovered on the Australasian island of Timor by a team led by Sue O’Connor of Australian National University. Wear on its notches and sticky residue suggest that the point would have been tied and glued to a wooden handle or inserted into a split hollow shaft, and used as a spear while hunting large fish at sea. Other complex weapons found in the region are only several hundred years old.