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How old is the oldest evidence of sling usage ? (Read 23479 times)
Curious Aardvark
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How old is the oldest evidence of sling usage ?
Sep 1st, 2012 at 7:29am
 
I know round here we tend to assume that slings are a very old weapon. Something that goes back into prehistory.

But is there any evidence of this ?
For one reason or another I've been thinking about this recently.
As far as I know, there are no depictions of slings or sling usage in cave paintings.
Does anyone know different ?

A sling, rather than being a simple and easily made device is actually a very complex method of throwing stones. I'm thinking it's not as old as we like to believe.

We do know that spears and spear throwers are as old as the oldest cave paintings.
And that they were, and are, a very effective projectile weapon.

There was no incentive for ancient man to even look for something else.
 
We do know that there are slinger depictions on pretty old greek pottery, but is there anythig older.

So when and what is the oldest recorded evidence of sling usage ?
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Dan
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Re: How old is the oldest evidence of sling usage
Reply #1 - Sep 1st, 2012 at 8:10am
 
 It sounds like we are looking for slings used in the same age as atlatl. So if slings were found in the same picture/painting, it would be evident of concurrent use.

Slings are simple enough, it's the ussage that's the hard part. However a lot of the ancient stone points and such are extremely intraquet so you could probably assume most crafts/tools/weapons would be the same way.

I think the 'ancient' assumption comes from the fact that slings sling rocks, and every commercial caveman is notourious for throwing big rocks and sticks.

I think realistically, the oldest I can think of is Egyptian slings, that's pretty old.

I'll check the Concordance for the Bible to see if there's any use of slings during Abrahams time.
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David Morningstar
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Re: How old is the oldest evidence of sling usage
Reply #2 - Sep 1st, 2012 at 8:28am
 
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Mauro Fiorentini
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Re: How old is the oldest evidence of sling usage
Reply #3 - Sep 1st, 2012 at 11:32am
 
http://slinging.org/forum/YaBB.pl?num=1328303355/0 here it is C_A  Smiley
The antiquity of the sling.

In short: the most ancient evidence of slinging here in Italy are Neolithic bullets dating 4500-4000 years b.C.
A historian wrote there're evidences of slinging dating back to 80'000 years bp.
I tried to contact him but he won't reply so I'm cautious about it.
But there're many more info on the topic above!

David, thanks for that link!
I managed to solve that long-standing question about that image (what Vikings, they were much more cool Picenian ships!  Cheesy )
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Curious Aardvark
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Re: How old is the oldest evidence of sling usage
Reply #4 - Sep 2nd, 2012 at 6:52am
 
so lovelock cave goes back around 2580 BC. Not 40,000 as kid said in the other thread.
And not only a sling - but duck decoys as well.

...
Unequivacally a sling image, found at catal hyuk - 7500 BCE to 5700 BCE (what's the E stand for ?)

So anyone got any actual evidence later than 7500 - which is around 9500 ago ?

See I don't think they did have slings 40,000 years ago. Spears, atlatls - definitely.
Those are depicted regularly.
If slings were in common usage there would be stone caches and paintings.  

And while the actual making of a sling is simple - learning how to use one is a very complicated process.
The first person to throw a stone with a sling would think: 'where'd it go ? - damn I'm hungry where'd I put my atlatl.'

Slinging is not a natural thing to do.
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bigkahuna
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Re: How old is the oldest evidence of sling usage
Reply #5 - Sep 2nd, 2012 at 7:38am
 
BCE=Before Christian Era. Wink
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Mauro Fiorentini
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Re: How old is the oldest evidence of sling usage
Reply #6 - Sep 2nd, 2012 at 7:52am
 
You're right C_A about the lack of evidences of slinging in cave paintings, but I have some evidences of strange decorations made of dots.
I have to find them because it's a bit hard to describe them.
Basically there are paintings of animals (almost every kind, from wolves to elephants) on which the caveman engraved a lot of dots.
Some wrote these are sling bullets, some wrote it's a primitive way of counting kills, but I'm prone to think these depicts wounds made by spears, javelins, or else.
Sorry for the bad English, had a looooooong night this Saturday  Tongue
Will post pictures of these paintings as soon as possible.
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Curious Aardvark
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Re: How old is the oldest evidence of sling usage
Reply #7 - Sep 2nd, 2012 at 12:15pm
 
lol - what idiot added the E ?
BC means the same thing Smiley

I'm just trying to track down when and who originated the sling. And I'll be surprised if we'll find any evidence much older than catal hyuk.
Hunting was too important for prehistoric man to waste so long learning a weapon when the spear was handy.
Thinking maybe it actually originated with shepherds. As looked at logically this make a lot more sense than it developing as a weapon of war. And it would account for slings appearing in all herding societies.

Anyone got any idea when slings first appeared in egyptian records, pictograms, grave goods etc ?
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Re: How old is the oldest evidence of sling usage
Reply #8 - Sep 2nd, 2012 at 12:47pm
 
What about the slinging book guys. Isn't there a sling history section?

Before Christ vs Before Christian Era.

BCE sounds like more political correctness
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Mauro Fiorentini
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Re: How old is the oldest evidence of sling usage
Reply #9 - Sep 2nd, 2012 at 12:53pm
 
Well one could also say

BC - BUSA (Before Columbus - Before the United States of America)  Grin Grin Grin Grin

Adding that "E" is simply ridiculous, in my opinion  Smiley
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Re: How old is the oldest evidence of sling usage
Reply #10 - Sep 2nd, 2012 at 1:11pm
 
BCE-Before Common Era
CE- Common Era, since it's used by non-Christians too.
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Re: How old is the oldest evidence of sling usage
Reply #11 - Sep 2nd, 2012 at 2:22pm
 
What era is considered "common"?
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Re: How old is the oldest evidence of sling usage
Reply #12 - Sep 2nd, 2012 at 2:52pm
 
why, that from year AD 1 = CE 1 (again, non-Christians should not have to write "in the year of our Lord").
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Re: How old is the oldest evidence of sling usage
Reply #13 - Sep 2nd, 2012 at 2:56pm
 
well as far as the slingers guide goes. If nobody's writing a history section already - I will be.

Just one of the reasons I'd like to try and pin down exactly (well give and take a millenia) how old the sling is.

I'm pretty sure I'm right about it originating with shepherds - just about everything about the sling fits that scenario better than any other.

But it would be nice to work out where and when the first shepherd slung the first stone (probably impossible, but still It wuld be nice to know).
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Re: How old is the oldest evidence of sling usage
Reply #14 - Sep 2nd, 2012 at 3:11pm
 
Just the pure power of it makes it an excellent intimidation weapon against predators trying on the flock.A whirring stone,doesn't have to hit to discourage predators.
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