Drawing on the wall in the Levoberezhnaya cave. Sablino
When there were no races on earth,
and the mind dozed in the universe,
one primeval gave another in the eye,
and so the military appeared!
Student folklore of the 90s of the XX century
and the mind dozed in the universe,
one primeval gave another in the eye,
and so the military appeared!
Student folklore of the 90s of the XX century
stories about weapons. Among the previous materials of the series on stories weapons, two articles have already been published - one about clubs and maces, and the other about spears, but readers complained that it was not enough about the spears. Since one could fully agree with this remark, we fill in this gap in information ... However, first, let's remember again - and who could be considered a warrior in prehistoric times far from us?
Shot from the film "Clan of the Cave Bear" (1986). Spears do not yet have stone tips. They are only burned on fire and imprisoned on stone
The concept of "warrior" is not only military, but also social. First of all, this is a person who had the right to bear arms and the right to use them. And he also had the right to booty in the war and numerous privileges.
And if we mentally transport ourselves into the distant past, we will definitely notice the following circumstance, namely: it turns out that all this, that is, armor and weapons, appeared a very long time ago, when warriors as such did not yet exist, and people lived in tribes and lived in caves. But by the beginning of the Middle Ages, warriors like the knights known to us were found throughout the entire space of the Eurasian continent. Even in Central America in the pre-Columbian era, there were warriors whose lifestyle was also in many ways similar to that of a knight. Well, the very first samples of weapons appeared a very, very long time ago, back in time immemorial, prehistoric times!
"First Warrior": still from the movie "Battle for the Fire" (1981). The parking lot of the more civilized "wild" people was attacked by "quite wild" people, and even of a clearly different race. Death to them, furry!
Both scientists and the general public today, of course, know that people already in the Stone Age knew how to draw quite well, and that there are many caves in France, and in Spain, and even here in the Urals and Siberia, where their drawings. Well, of course, there are a lot of archaeological finds of this time, which were interesting to compare with them. But will we succeed in such a comparison, and if not, why?!
As a result, the “more wild” and furry ones crushed the “less wild” and smooth-skinned ones in numbers. Frame from the movie "Battle for the Fire". So, by the way, it happened in the era of writing, and more than once. Beautiful makeup, isn't it? But what was it like for actors to walk in this skin ?!
In our country and in the USSR, and even now, the novel by the French writer Joseph A. Roni Sr. “The Fight for Fire” is also well known, and it was written in 1909. That is, it reflects the level of knowledge about the primitive people of those years.
And what happened to the dead? And the winners simply ate them ... Frame from the movie "Battle for the Fire"
What this fascinating story is about, you can not tell. Those who have read it know, and those who have not read it, better read it themselves. In 1981, it was filmed and received two Cesar awards and an Oscar. It is interesting that in all his novels about primitive times, for example, "Vamirekh" (1892), "The Cave Lion" (1918) and "Eldar from the Blue River" (1929), the main theme is the fierce struggle of primitive races. Either they fight for fire, or because of women, or because all "strangers are enemies", which means - beat everyone who is different.
Here it is, the ancient processed stone from which our civilization began. Dordogne, France
The author describes the weapons that ancient people carry with them. First of all, these are flint-tipped spears and spears - apparently, Roni also has spears, but with a crossbar on the shaft so that their tip does not enter the body of the enemy or animal very deeply, although the author always imagined in childhood that the spear - it's kind of like a two-pronged fork. By the way, in the Middle Ages, the stalk received just such a crosshair behind the tip. True, the French writer does not cite the device of the ancient horn. And what he meant, we will never know. Then come darts, stone axes, and the strongest fight with clubs - well, there was already material about them here on VO.
It is interesting that the tribes at different levels of their development in the novels of the French writer exist at the same time and in the same space. Accordingly, their weapons also differ. Thus, the "advanced" people of the Wa tribe use a spear-throwing stick, while their more backward opponents do not have it! His sling is not used in his novels and is not even mentioned. Apparently, the author decided that it was invented much later.
But the American Jean M. Auel, who wrote a whole series of novels, the main character of which is the primitive and very beautiful girl Ayla, paid tribute to the sling. It is important that Jean Auel wrote them not only from books, but also visited archaeological excavations conducted in France, Austria, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, Ukraine and Germany, mastered a variety of crafts of ancient people, was engaged in serviving - survival in the wild. And she also consulted with scientists of various profiles: anthropologists, archaeologists, historians, ethnographers, as well as specialists in other fields of knowledge, in order to show the world of the late Pleistocene as plausibly as possible, where her heroes act. And it should be noted that on the whole she succeeded well. Although she “crammed” erotica into her novels, well, just from the heart ...
In total, the cycle "Children of the Earth" includes six novels: "Clan of the Cave Bear", "Valley of Horses", "Mammoth Hunters", "The Hearth of a Mammoth", "The Way Through the Plain", "Under the Protection of a Stone", "The Land of the Painted Caves" . In 1986, the first book in the Clan of the Cave Bear series was filmed - and on the whole it turned out to be a pretty good film ...
But her point of view on the primitive races is not at all the same as that of Roni the Elder. Interspecies differences, of course, are present, but her primitive people do not quarrel with each other, they do not eat each other, and there are no bloody fights between them in her novels. People use weapons only against animals! The attack of one person on another is a great rarity for her and the lot of completely asocial personalities, and is unanimously condemned by all other tribes.
A still from the film One Million Years BC (1966). It is quite possible that some of our distant ancestor could have looked like this, but… He could have chosen a straighter stick for his spear!
The arsenal of her heroes is not as diverse as that of the French writer, but her weapons are more effective. So, the Neanderthals at Jean Auel use bola - stones with bast tails tied to them and connected to each other by a single rope in a bundle. Throwing the bola, the hunter sought to hit the animal in the legs. Ropes with stones wrapped around his legs, and it fell. Then a sling is used, both by men and women. They cannot throw spears, they run with them. But the heroine Aila, who belongs to the Cro-Magnon race, not only uses a spear and a sling, but also invents a spear-throwing stick, which dramatically increases the throw range with a light dart. It is known that it appeared in the Late Paleolithic era, and then was used by the natives of Australia (the name of womer, wommer, wammer, amera, purtanji), New Guinea, the peoples of northeast Asia and North America, such people as the Nivkhs on Sakhalin, and in different regions of America (Mexican "atlatl"). Usually it was a stick or a plank with a handle at one end and a hook-like stop at the other - that is, it was tripled extremely simply.
Carved decoration of a spear thrower made of mammoth tusk. Age about 12 years. Found in France. British museum
Well, the drawings on the walls of prehistoric caves - in fact, these are real galleries of primitive art, although not much, they still clarify some of the history of these weapons. So, in the Lascaux cave in France there are images of animals clearly pierced by darts; and next to it are rather conditional, and yet quite recognizable images of spear-throwers.
In the so-called apse, in the center of the cave, in a deep four-meter well, there is a colorful image of a bison pierced from behind by a large spear. It can be seen that his stomach was torn open and the insides fell out. And next to him lies a man, and next to him is a fragment of a spear and a small rod that adorns a schematic image of a bird.
Here is the drawing...
And it is very similar to the spear thrower from the Mas d'Azil cave in the Pyrenees, belonging to the Azil culture . And this find is no exception. At the site of Abri Montastryuk, also in France, they found a spear thrower made of deer antler, which is about 12 thousand years old. So - the hook on it is made in the form of a figurine of a jumping horse, that is, even then it was believed that weapons could be decorated!
Spearhead and knife. Reconstruction. Mesa Verde National Park, USA
It is known that it was in the Late Paleolithic era (from the Greek words "palaios" - ancient and "lithos" - stone) that the formation of a modern, in the physical sense, man (Homosariens) was completed, the time came for the dominance of collective hunting for the largest animals, followed by the development of strong social ties, and the extraordinary flourishing of art, which reached its highest level 15-10 thousand years ago. As for the technique of making stone tools and weapons, at that time it became simply virtuoso. In any case, today, according to the finds of archaeologists, we know about 150 types of stone and 20 types of bone tools dating back to that time. It is a pity that the ancient people captured on the walls of their caves only a few of what is so interesting to us today. Animals - oh yes, Paleolithic people depicted them very often! But for some reason they did not strive to draw themselves and the household objects surrounding them at all. Although the witty hypotheses explaining this are innumerable.
That is, in this case, for some reason, the images do not tell us a lot, and in order to find out why and what they do not tell, we will need to compare the drawings from the caves with the artifacts discovered by archaeologists. However, we will start, again, not with finds, but with the fact that once again we turn to the novels of J. Roni Sr. and Jean Auel. In the first one, people are at war all the time - the same ulamrs with red dwarfs and kzams, while in Auel's "Children of the Earth" they strive to agree among themselves. It is possible that this is due to their gender difference, and also her worldview of the late twentieth century, while J. Roni Sr. worked at its beginning. That is, the morality of society has changed markedly over a hundred years. At least... in the books.
Arrowhead from the late Neolithic period (3300-2400 BC). La Gleine, Saint-Leon, Aveyron, France. Museum of Toulouse
As far as this is all “wrong”, all the same artifacts testify. So, archaeologist Arthur Leakey in the Olduvai Gorge in Kenya unearthed the skull of some primitive poor fellow, who was pierced by a sharp stone. And it couldn't be an accident. This means that there was no “peace under the olives” even at that time, far from ours. In addition, it is clear to everyone that a roughly sharpened stone in the hand of those ancient people (according to various estimates, its age is from 400 to 800 thousand years) could be used as a hammer, and a chisel, and a scraper, and ... be an effective weapon in hand-to-hand combat fight.
What a delightful primeval killer... A scene from the movie Battle for Fire. So to speak, a real "kzamny kzam"! Yes, and with a club!
Apparently, J. Roni Sr. represented the entire human history as one continuous confrontation between people belonging to different physical types. In the novel Fight for Fire, they are represented by the ulamrs, kzams, red-haired dwarfs and people of Wa invented by him. Then, in the sequel novel The Cave Lion, the Wolf Women and the Fire People are added to them. And rightly or wrongly, but it is conveyed so talentedly that you believe what he wrote. And he always clearly defines “good” and “bad”. However, are the epic heroes of folk legends and tales, no matter what people they belong to, not busy with the same thing? Aren't they fighting what they imagine to be "absolute evil"? And this evil is not only animals - all sorts of fictional monsters there, but first of all people!
But the naked girl, smeared from head to toe with blue clay, which the Kzams caught and kept as live meat, in this film turned out to be some kind of unconvincing
Perhaps only today in the Japanese children's cartoon saga about the warrior girl Sailor Moon, the creator of this and all other positive images managed to avoid the killing of a person by a person: in all series, Usagi Tsukino and all other "warriors in sailor suits" do not kill people, they destroy exclusively demons, that is, undead!
Another important point is indicative: most of the heroes (or their parents) are very concerned about the problem of their own immortality or invulnerability. Achilles from the Iliad is made invulnerable by his mother, the goddess Thetis, who bathes him in the waters of the underground river Styx. Siegfried from the Nibelungenlied also bathes, but only in dragon's blood. The exiled hero, the hero of the Nart epic of the peoples of the Caucasus, acquires invulnerability after his blacksmith father sends him into a red-hot furnace, but holds his legs below his knees with tongs. And note that our ancestors were wise enough to understand the following: absolute invulnerability is even impossible in principle! So, the goddess Thetis holds Achilles by the heel, and it is precisely in her that the arrow fired by the insidious Paris hits. A leaf from a tree stuck to Siegfried's back, right under his left shoulder blade, and that's where the vile Hagen stuck his spear. Moreover, Hagen cunningly found out the secret of Siegfried from his wife Krimhilda, who was clearly not abstemious in her language! And, finally, the magic wheel of Balsag with metal spokes, to which the secret of Soslan was told by the man Syrdon, who knew her, becomes the enemy of Soslan. Balsag's wheel chose the time when Soslan was fast asleep, rolled over his weak spot and ... cut off both his legs below the knees, which is why the hero simply bled to death!
Cain kills Abel... with a hoe! “I killed him, whatever was at hand!” Morgan Library and Museum, New York
So the desire of later knights to put on heavy-duty impenetrable armor comes from there, from our past shrouded in legends. However, the main means of protecting people of the Stone Age was not armor (and what would they have been made of then, although armor made of skins, wood, wickerwork and rods is known!), But ... a certain distance. That is, the enemy was not allowed to approach his victim to deliver a fatal blow. The Bible tells that Cain rebelled against Abel and killed him, but he succeeded in this atrocity only because the villain took his brother by surprise. That is, he was at the very minimum distance from his victim. And since the weapon used by Cain was not named in the Bible, it can be assumed that Cain simply strangled Abel, stabbed him with a knife or picked up a stone from the ground and, in a state of passion, hit him on the temple. In any case, if Abel had noticed his insidious encroachments, he could have managed to escape from him. And hence the conclusion, which is still relevant today: frisky legs are no less important in battle, like armor, helmets and shields!
 Although this is already the culture of the Mesolithic - that is, the Middle Stone Age (from the Greek "mesos" - middle and "lithos" - stone).
To be continued ...