It seems superstition was well present among the ancient human beings of the Stone Age. A new report reveals how the ancient hunters of Europe were very particular about which skeleton they scavenged to make arrowheads or other weapons with which they used to hunt. The ritual stemmed from the belief that the skeleton that they will use will invoke the talents of that dead person or animal.
A report published in the Journal of Archaeological Science reveals that scientists researched hundreds of barbed points made out of bones that washed ashore in the Netherlands. The bones are believed to have been made and used in Doggerland more than 7,000 years ago. Doggerland was the area that connected the present-day United Kingdom with Europe thousands of years ago when the sea level was extremely low.
Scientists believe that the ancient Doggerland stretched from Great Britain's east coast to present-day Germany, Denmark and the Netherlands. However, with melting glaciers and rising sea levels, Doggerland submerged beneath the North Sea some 9,000 years ago, creating an archipelago first and then, Dogger Island.
The recent report suggests that archaeologists are certain the points were used in projectile weapons, most likely arrowheads but possibly, as spears too. Before farming was developed, hunters and gatherers of northern Europe used these pointed bones as weapons to hunt.
A report by New Scientist reveals that on further analysis of nine of these arrow points, archaeologists from Leiden University found that seven of these were made from deer antler and bone, but two were composed of human bone.
Archaeologist Joannes Dekker of Leiden University said that the choice of arrowheads is more strategic in nature. They further wrote that an arrowhead made of deer bone would have been used to invoke the elegance and swiftness of a red deer. The use of human bones indicates that the hunters were trying to invoke the individual talents of that particular person whose bones they are using, reported New Scientist.
By making an arrowhead made of a dead skilful hunter, the then hunters were trying to gather the strength and the accuracy in themselves. Joannes further said that the human-bone made arrowheads were not just ceremonial items since their research showed that they were resharpened and show signs of being worn-out.