What do you picture in your mind when you hear the words “cave men?” Do you think of hairy, ungroomed men wearing animal skins, standing around a fire? It’s easy to assume that people living in caves several thousand years ago were not very smart, and could not make advanced tools and weapons. But a recent study has discovered that our ancestors were more intelligent and had more technology than previously believed.

While excavating a cave in Africa, researchers led by Vincent Mourre of the University of Toulouse–Le Mirail discovered and studied 127 spear tips.1 These spear tips were especially interesting because they were not made out of flint, yet were thought to be very old. These spear tips were made out of a type of rock called silcrete, which is much stronger and harder to work with than flint.

Some scientists had not believed that people were capable of using advanced technology to make silcrete spear tips this long ago. “The rocks show evidence of a technique known as pressure flaking that produces sharp, symmetrical, durable stones—and that requires precision as well as knowledge of the technique.”1

Using pressure flaking to carve spear tips takes much practice and skill to learn. It requires a great deal of precision. Obviously, our ancestors were more advanced than previously thought!

For more information, please read the following:

1 Answers in Genesis, News to Note, November 6, 2010, http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/2010/11/06/news-to-note-11062010.