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Author Topic: Neanderthals throwing spears?  (Read 1754 times)

Online NickNascati

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Neanderthals throwing spears?
« on: February 25, 2020, 12:42:34 AM »
All,
     I wonder what the consensus is on this idea.  Mana Press Primeval rules, do not all Neanderthals any thrown weapon, expect perhaps a rock.  I’m not sure I agree.  I can see a heavy, thrown spear having a shorter range than a light spear hurled from an atlatl, but to allow no spear throwing at all seems harsh to me.

Offline von Lucky

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Re: Neanderthals throwing spears?
« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2020, 01:15:15 AM »
Considering the long time period, and the fact that new research dispels or reaffirms old presumptions, I think you can change it so that they can.

Found these related articles on the Schöningen spears that supports your theory (note published after Primeval was published):
https://www.history.com/news/neanderthal-spear-throwing-discovery
https://phys.org/news/2019-01-neanderthal-spears-distance.html
https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2019/01/neanderthal-spears-threw-pretty-well/581218/

Give them a unit of spear throwers if you wish - no one is going to disagree with you (and Tribal / Primeval is flexible enough to allow it).
- Karsten

"Imagination is the only weapon in the war against reality."
- Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

Blog: Donner und Blitzen

Online NickNascati

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Re: Neanderthals throwing spears?
« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2020, 01:24:50 AM »
Good, I’m glad there is factual support.  I think the range should definitely be shorter than a Cro-Magnon throwing a light spear from an atlatl.

Offline Cat

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Re: Neanderthals throwing spears?
« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2020, 02:55:42 AM »
Also note: if they are not from the Neander Valley, they're just sparkling cavemen.
~ , ~

Offline von Lucky

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Re: Neanderthals throwing spears?
« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2020, 03:22:21 AM »
Are you suggesting Nick paints them in glitter paint?

Offline Matakakea

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Re: Neanderthals throwing spears?
« Reply #5 on: February 26, 2020, 04:53:44 PM »
Quote
Also note: if they are not from the Neander Valley, they're just sparkling cavemen.


Arrggh!! lol
I'm not a mercenary. Killing's more of a hobby for me.

Offline DivisMal

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Re: Neanderthals throwing spears?
« Reply #6 on: February 26, 2020, 07:51:07 PM »
Ah, von Lucky beat me to it!

I am actually an archaeologist working in the Lower Saxony State Museum, and while we didn’t get the Schöningen spears - they got their own beautiful display on the site itself, we also got the wooden thrusting spear from Lehringen, which is in my responsibility.. Both finds were preserved in the eternal rain of northwestern Germany.

While Schöningen for a long time was dated to the time of homo erectus (I still did my PhD exam with that dating i. 2009), recent reevaluation of the stratigraphy, new datings and new research suggests a considerably lower date and make it possible to put them to Neanderthals.

The Lehringen spear’s association with Neanderthals was never disputed, but it seems to be a footman lance or thrusting spear.

This is all rather exciting with the new datings of Neanderthal art (which give credibility to older finds which were often talked away as „singular“ or „possibly accidental“ in international discussions).



Offline sir_shvantselot

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Re: Neanderthals throwing spears?
« Reply #7 on: February 26, 2020, 09:09:39 PM »
Fascinating. So Neanderthals could throw spears?

Offline Freelancer

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Re: Neanderthals throwing spears?
« Reply #8 on: February 27, 2020, 01:46:46 AM »
Technically even a Chimp can thow a spear (or missile). I remember watching a young chimp collecting rocks and sticks as missiles to throw at some ducks that were annoying it out in a pond. Were they shaped aerodynamic missiles made with the intent of hitting targets at range? No.
Neanderthals made very effective tools. DivisMal may be able to correct me on this, but there is no current evidence of shaped stone throwing spearheads (aerodynamic, symmetrical) made by Neanderthals. The Schöningen spears look like they were intended as some type of javelin, or light thrusting spear. Would they have been very accurate or lethal over range?? So yes, Neanderthals probably chucked ranged missiles, but would it be their modus operandi? Game rules are all about stereotypes, and Primeval only suggests these restricitions to make differences between the subspecies more distinct. The Throwing weapons skill actually fits these sort of spears quite well (lobbed at their target just before closing in for the fight) and they are a good excuse for converting your minis  ;)

Online NickNascati

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Re: Neanderthals throwing spears?
« Reply #9 on: February 27, 2020, 02:59:06 AM »
Thanks to all for their very erudite input.  This is obviously a topic worthy of discussion.

Offline DivisMal

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Re: Neanderthals throwing spears?
« Reply #10 on: February 27, 2020, 09:18:23 AM »
Technically even a Chimp can thow a spear (or missile). I remember watching a young chimp collecting rocks and sticks as missiles to throw at some ducks that were annoying it out in a pond. Were they shaped aerodynamic missiles made with the intent of hitting targets at range? No.
Neanderthals made very effective tools. DivisMal may be able to correct me on this, but there is no current evidence of shaped stone throwing spearheads (aerodynamic, symmetrical) made by Neanderthals. The Schöningen spears look like they were intended as some type of javelin, or light thrusting spear. Would they have been very accurate or lethal over range?? So yes, Neanderthals probably chucked ranged missiles, but would it be their modus operandi? Game rules are all about stereotypes, and Primeval only suggests these restricitions to make differences between the subspecies more distinct. The Throwing weapons skill actually fits these sort of spears quite well (lobbed at their target just before closing in for the fight) and they are a good excuse for converting your minis  ;)

There is indeed some discussion on Neanderthal missile heads made from flint, but that’s a very specialist topic (definitely not mine).

The Schöningen spears resemble modern Olympic spears or javelins. They are perfectly suited for throwing not so much for thrusting (but then you have the Lehringen spear, that was definitely thrusted).

So how was the modus operandi. Of course, no one of us was there, but the technical perfection of the Schöningen spears also suggests a longer tradition which hasn’t been discovered, yet. So many nice gaming opportunities ...


Offline von Lucky

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Re: Neanderthals throwing spears?
« Reply #11 on: February 27, 2020, 09:24:33 AM »
Also note: if they are not from the Neander Valley, they're just sparkling cavemen.
~ , ~

Where you referring to this?!

https://www.theguardian.com/science/2010/jan/11/caveman-neanderthal-makeup-spain

Also, Freelancer you should update your profile to your website, Facebook or blog page ;)
« Last Edit: February 27, 2020, 09:27:03 AM by von Lucky »

Online NickNascati

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Re: Neanderthals throwing spears?
« Reply #12 on: February 27, 2020, 01:00:38 PM »
One thing I noticed, is that most Neanderthal minis, perhaps all, are modeled with flint pointed spears, not charred wood.

Offline DivisMal

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Re: Neanderthals throwing spears?
« Reply #13 on: February 27, 2020, 03:13:29 PM »
One thing I noticed, is that most Neanderthal minis, perhaps all, are modeled with flint pointed spears, not charred wood.

Rather strange. There are of course artifacts which could have been points of projectiles, but the evidence for composite weapons is way stronger with homo sapiens.

Online NickNascati

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Re: Neanderthals throwing spears?
« Reply #14 on: February 27, 2020, 03:48:16 PM »
They are shown with something wrapped tying the poi;t to the shaft, so I assume from that, it represents a flint spearhead.