The Gauls used boomerangs 2,000 years ago, according to archaeologists who have found a wooden curved stick at a beach near Cherbourg in northern France.
Boomerangs are usually associated with Australian aborigines but these amazing wooden weapons have been found in Egypt, apparently dating back 2,000 years, and in Europe - the oldest one, which was found in a cave in Poland, being 30,000 years old.
They were apparently toys but now archaelogists have found what seems to be a 2,000-year-old boomerang at the Urville-Nacqueville beach in northern France - and it was not used for play, Le Monde newspaper reports.
The stick doesn't come back when you throw it, the archaeologists said, it was used as a weapon, to hunt.
The ancient Gauls probably used these boomerangs to hunt seagulls, the archaeologists believe.
The wooden stick they found, the only one so far, is made from the wood of an apple or pear tree. Boomerangs are still made from these high-quality woods.
The Gallic stick dates from 120 to 80 years before Christ, nearly 30 years before the Roman conquest of Gaul.
It weighs 150 grammes and can be thrown a distance of 50 metres.
The flying weapon was found in an old ditch in a harbour facing across the Channel to England, located near what is now the town of La Hague in the Cotentin peninsula.
The archaeologists said that this discovery on the coast also means that there was a harbour where cross-channel trade took place at the time.
Source: RFI / 07-10-14