The earliest arms were made from stone. The earliest humans lived hundreds of thousands of years ago. Scientists have found weapons made of sharpened stone that were used by these people.
Weapons were used for hunting as well as fighting. The bones of wild cattle, deer and elephants have been found by scientists who study the remains of ancient humans. These animals were hunted and killed by the people using their stone weapons.
The first warriors had no armour. It is thought that early tribes of humans fought each other to get control of the best hunting grounds or sources of water. These men had no armour, so they had to rely on being able to move quickly out of the way for safety.
Spears were the first effective weapons. The earliest spears consisted of a stone point mounted on the end of a wooden pole. With a spear a man could reach his enemy while still out of reach of the opponent’s hand-held weapons. Soon spears were being used all over the world.
Shields were the first form of defence. A thrust from a spear could be stopped by holding a piece of wood in the way. People soon began to produce shields made of flat pieces of wood with a handle on the back. Over the years shields came to be produced in many different shapes and sizes.
The oldest signs of warfare come from Krapina, Croatia, where human bones over 120,000 years old have been found that show marks caused by stone spearheads.
This is an extract from 100 Things you should know about Arms and Armour by Rupert Matthews. To learn more and order your copy at a discount CLICK HERE