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Oldest Wooden Spear

Making Wooden Spears

Hunting large animals was a risky business. Long spears  were thrust into an animal, enabling our ancestors to hunt from a somewhat safer distance than was possible with earlier weapons. Three wooden spears like this one were found at Schöningen, Germany, along with stone tools and the butchered remains of more than 10 horses. These spears are currently the oldest known wooden artifacts in the world.

Schoningen Spear
Wooden thrusting spear, Schöningen, Germany, about 400,000 years old.
Image Credit: Chip Clark, Smithsonian Institution
Oldest Wooden Spear
Exhibit Item
Date of discovery: 1995
Discovered by: Hartmut Thieme
Site: Schöningen, Germany
Page last updated: February 9, 2016