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Poisons, Plants and Palaeolithic hunters

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  • UserValentina Borgia, McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research
  • ClockThursday 21 January 2016, 19:30-21:00
  • HouseCottenham Village College.

If you have a question about this talk, please contact Vicki Harley.

Ancient peoples, such as the Babylonians, Greeks and Romans, used plant-based poisons both for hunting animals and in war. The fact that toxic substances were available, and the benefits arising from their use on throwing weapons (e.g. safe distance of the hunter from the prey, quick death of large prey), suggest that this practice could have also been widespread among prehistoric hunters. Dr Borgia will present an interdisciplinary research project focused on development of a method capable of detecting poisons on archaeological spears/arrows with the aim of going back in time to the Palaeolithic in order to find out if poisonous substances were added to weapons as a way of further improving their hunting success.

This talk is part of the Fen Edge Archaeology Group series.

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