ISHANGO

Harpoons

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Barbed points?


Hundreds of barbed points in excellent condition were found during the archaeological excavations. This is all that remains of the hunting and fishing tools which were used at Edward Lake. These points would have been part of composite tools which would have also included wooden poles and ties of undetermined organic matter (such as animal tendons, vines etc.)

These points were originally cut from bone. Then, local conditions related to volcanism caused a very rapid fossilization of the bone: today these points are stone. It was on the shore of the lake that the points were made. Parts were found from all stages of production, as well as the cutting tools and polishers needed to produce the points. A whole workshop!

Two kinds of points?


There are simple barbed points and also harpoon points. The difference lies in how the point is fitted: for the harpoon, the tip is detachable from the shaft upon impact with prey, while the barbed point remains attached.