An international team of archaeologists has excavated and examined 8,000-year-old projectile points (spear- and arrowheads) at two sites in Yemen and Oman. They’ve found that ancient Arabians independently invented a process to create distinctive projectile points — called fluting — that was first used by Native Americans about 5,000 years earlier.

Various types of fluted points and preforms from Manayzah, Yemen: (1) double-fluted preform on a plano-convex elongated bifacial piece; (2) broken fluted preform on a bifacial elongated piece with symmetrical section; (3) base-fluted projectile point; (4 and 5) tip-fluted projectile points. Image credit: Crassard et al, doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0236314.

Fluting is an iconic stone tool manufacturing method and a specific action that involves the extraction of a channel flake along the longitudinal axis of a bifacial piece. It is well known in North America, evidenced by finds across the…

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