When exactly did people start poisoning their weapons to hunt? This question is in the forefront in recent archaeological investigations.
Hunter collecting groups like Juam / Wasi and Hei / Om in Nambia have been poisoning their arrows since the 19th and 20th centuries. However, the origins of this technology may be older than we thought.
Lately, in the Border Cave in the Lebombo Mountains of South Africa, the 24,000-year-old wooden applicator has traces of ricin. If this definition is true, it shows that people in South Africa are among the first people to benefit from the potential of plant-based poisons.
South Africa has so far provided evidence of many cognitive behaviors that could be attributed to Homo sapiens. These evidences include early evolutionary evidence of stalk repellent technology, aromatic plant selection for bedding materials, and use of vaccine coating as an insect repellent
Early use of zehra is a good indicator of our improved behavioral and technological traits since early times. But the problem is; it is not easy to identify the remains of old poisons. Organic molecules of poisons made by mixing different poisons dissolve over time and seldom resemble their basic composition. For this reason it is often very difficult to correctly identify old organic residues.
Now, an archaeologist and team of organic chemists from Witwatersrand, Pretoria and Johannesburg Universities have published details of a method that can reasonably accurately identify plant-based toxins and other unique chemical determinants found in archeological artifacts.
This development could allow scientists to discover the presence of toxic plant components applied to old weapons. This, in South Africa, also contributes to the increased encouragement of all the complexity of early human populations, as it is all over the world.
Testing the method
They will remember the scenes of the BBC nature documentaries, the delicate little arrows and springs, and the small Bushman hunters hunting the antelope. This inexpensive equipment is able to deliver even large animals because of the poison.
A larva of a bug known as Diamphidia, the source of the most well-known arrow poison in South Africa. The Diamphidia group is still used today by traditional hunters living in Kalahari. The group's fingers are directly impacted by the fingers of an animal, when the poison is applied directly to an arrowhead. The venom known as diamphotoxin can kill a fully grown zufrage.
Historical records, however, show that many other plant components are used. Arrow's special content and recipes used to make the gore differ between groups and regions.