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Archaeology Magazine

A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America

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Sri Lanka’s Early Human Hunters

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Sri Lanka huntersJENA, GERMANY—Cosmos reports that evidence of sophisticated hunting strategies employed some 45,000 years ago by modern humans has been found among thousands of bone fragments in Sri Lanka’s Fa-Hien Lena Cave by an international team of researchers. Many of the bones came from large adult monkeys and squirrels, according to Michelle Langley of Griffith University, and pointed tools had been made from some of the animals' limb bones. In the area's rainforest environment, these animals would have been hard to find and kill, Langley said, unlike on the savannah, where large herbivores roamed in herds. The researchers are now trying to figure out whether the sharpened bone tools were used as blow darts, arrows, spears, or as parts of traps. For more on evidence of early hunting, go to “The First Spears.”

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