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Societies have been warring with each other since ancient times. Weapons were probably the first tools humans built, first to hunt animals for food and later to kill enemies competing for the same resources. Cave paintings dating to 30,000 years ago depict human beings pierced with arrows, and some of the oldest rock art depicting acts of violence between hunter-gatherers have been found in Northern Australia, dated to 10,000 years ago. Cave art belonging to the Mesolithic period (15,000 to 5,000 BP) shows explicit scenes of battle scenes between groups of archers.

As humans discovered new natural resources beneath the Earth's surface, traditional stone weapons were replaced with those made with bronze and then with iron. Spears, axes and swords evolved and eventually gave way to muskets and finally automatic rifles.


Military kit of an English huscarl in the Battle of Hastings, 1066.

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