It seems that the ancient warriors of New Guinea were using deadly bone daggers when facing enemies. But their weapons were made of two types of bones. One from human, thigh bone, and the other from the bones of cassowaries, some dinosaur-like ancient birds. But which type of dagger was stronger and more efficient against enemies? According to a new study, which the journal Royal Society Open Science recently published, it seems that the weapon made from the human bone was a lot stronger.
According to Nathaniel Dominy, the lead author of this study, both types of bones were suited for creating these daggers. However, the difference came from the way in which the warriors shaped the daggers from human bones. As opposed to the ones from cassowaries, they retained the curved shape of the bone, making the dagger a lot more efficient. The bones of cassowaries were usually flatter and did not have that curvature, which made them weaker, by comparison. Dominy began his unusual quest after finding a drawer full of such ancient daggers, at the Hood Museum of Art at Dartmouth College.
The difference between ancient daggers
After investigating their use and source, he found that the ancient warriors of New Guinea fought with them. They were mostly using the dagger to execute already wounded victims by stabbing them in the neck. They were also using them for close combat. According to other records, these people used these daggers to also disable prisoners which they then cannibalized.
Surely, Dominy says, these records were written a long time ago, when people did not have advanced anthropology training. So, they may be a little exaggerated, especially in the cannibalism part. But these daggers also had a spiritual meaning. Whoever wielded one could carry on the powers of the person that the bone came from.
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