Who Invented the Spear?

invented-spear Credit: Colin Anderson/Blend Images/Getty Images

No one knows who invented the spear. Archaeologists date the invention of wooden spears to at least 400,000 years ago, which predates the rise of modern humans by some 300,000 years. Spears and similar stone-tipped weapons have been found at prehistoric sites around the world.

Spears are considered a milestone in the history of human technology because they allowed humans to hunt and fight at a distance. The next big improvement on the spear happened 18,000 years ago during the last Ice Age with the invention of the spear thrower. Also called a throwing stick or atlatl, this device enabled humans to hurl a spear at least twice as far as they could using arm strength alone.