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Tanzanian Bow-and-Arrow Hunters Offer Insight on Evolution of Technology

“When making a bow, the bowyer confronts a series of complex trade-offs, and his design choices represent one possible solution out of a large number of possibilities,” study co-author Jacob Harris said in a press release. “The Hadza bow represents an elegant solution to an exceptionally complex optimization problem. Their bows are extremely versatile, capable of killing a wide range of prey and functioning in a variety of environments,” said Harris, a doctoral graduate student at Arizona State University. Responses to the queries of Harris and his colleagues suggest Hadza hunters possess some causal knowledge, but that ability to innovate or maximize technological performance is at least partially constrained by cultural norms.

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