November/December 2020

ATW South Africa ProjectilesSOUTH AFRICA: Applying poison to arrows has great benefits. The projectile does not have to be very substantial or to be shot with great force to cause a lethal wound—it only needs to penetrate deep enough for the poison to enter the bloodstream. An analysis of bone arrowheads from Blombos Cave indicates that this technology may date back 72,000 years. The shape and small size of the points found there suggests that they were likely coated in toxins; otherwise their diminutive nature would have rendered them virtually ineffective.