High-speed impact fractures and the global origins of projectile technology (2023–2026)

It is often argued that complex projectile technology emerged and spread out of Africa with Homo sapiens, but this hypothesis remains untested. Recent research shows certain tip fractures and usewear/residues on stone points may be diagnostic of high-speed projectile impacts, facilitating identification of early complex projectiles. This project aims to use controlled ballistic experiments to generate diagnostic markers of high-speed impacts, test these against ethnographic collections, and analyse archaeological points on four continents. The should provide significant benefits in understanding the origins of complex projectiles, their role in human dispersal, inter-species competition and reasons for early appearance in Australia.
Grant type:
ARC Discovery Projects
Funded by:
Australian Research Council