Re: The brain and the hand
Fri, 6 Aug 1999 21:24:29 EDT

In a message dated 8/6/99 9:38:56, you wrote:

>(Putting aside for the moment the mental image of Nolan Ryan stalking
>cattle on a Texas ranch with a rock in his hand) Wasn't there a recent
>study suggesting that early hominids killed game mostly by charging
>them directly with spears rather than throwing them? I seem to recall
>it was someone who noticed that the injury pattern of these hominids
>closely matched those of modern rodeo riders.

It was the relatively late Neanderthals that had that pattern. Nobody's found clear-cut spear more than a few hundred thousand years ago, but then again wood spears wouldn't preserve well.

H.erectus made "hand axes", some of which were basically stone frisbees with the edges carefully sharpened all the way around. Nobody's figured a way to use those particular hand axes other than by throwing and, since they slmost always hit with the sharpened edge, they are about as effective as a thrown rock can be.

Earlier bipedal hominids didn't have such wicked rocks. The Australopithicenes (Lucy) have not been found to work rocks at all. They do seem to have used digging sticks.