Spears and anatomy

by Becky Lang, blog.discovermagazine.com

The spear was an extremely important and versatile (high and low position thrusting + throwing, hunt and warfare, pierce and slash) weapon and likely our most important one for all of mankind's prehistory and most of mankind's history.
Its influence on human anatomy will likely never be repeated by any other weapon, and the blog article linked above should - in combination with this blog text - push the idea of the spear as an important, natural heritage into our minds.

Too bad spear combat looks mostly too lame for movies and is thus poorly suited for pop culture. An exception proves the rule.

The idea that a weapon had such a huge influence and is so naturally part of our heritage is in my opinion alien to the modern German society, and I think this shows mankind's progress. 
Nowadays we never need to go to sleep hungry if we don't hunt, we don't need to carry a weapon all the time to provide for our own security, and usually we can even settle the question who gets to f...k whom without violence.

The old instincts are still there, though. Too bad; they don't work so well with a modern society and a modern earth with many states. There's no rich hunting ground left to be conquered and aggressiveness will rarely yield a better meal - but such behaviour patterns are still extant, even in geriatric men.



  1. That's no good post. There are throwing sticks, slings and rocks that shaped anatomy as much. You make presumptions about a violent past that are nothing but uninformed speculation. Is there a single source that less developed societies have combat to find a mate?

    1. Slings don't require (and actually cannot make use of) what has been mentioned in the article, the flexible energy storage.

      Thrown rocks are much more limited in hunting; you basically need to trap the animal first.

      Not sure what you mean with throwing sticks (the extension thing?), but I don't care about the difference between spear, javelin and plumbata at this point.

      Humans descended from animals and fighting for mating was and is very widespread in the animal kingdom. Besides; I've seen it happen between humans as well, it's just much less common nowadays.

  2. Spears enabled hunters to kill large animals at long distance, this was a game changer which appered around 300.00 years ago, spears were for long time much more important than other weopons.

    The aspect is well known in academia, search for the "Schöninger Speere", used by homo heidelbergensis. These weapons even get their own museum.