Awesome, maybe you could look through my dataset above and give me numbers for the composition of Alexander's army, i.e. the unit types of Phalangites, Peltasts, etc. Maybe I've missed some unit types that should be in those battles? I agree that ranged weapons seems to be the norm, especially since the "first" cave painting of battle (12,000-10,000 BC) at Jebel Sahaba shows 2 groups of Archers going at it*. In the Old Kingdom (c.2700) of Egypt they did have wicker shields at least, but before inventing shields, I agree that melee weapons would generally be a last resort. The Stone age part of this discussion probably fits better in the "Tribe" thread but I'll answer here for the time being. Using 20th century "Stone age" tribes as a proxy for prehistoric hunter-gatherers can be quite misleading. For example, modern tribes are probably more violent than their historic counterparts, due to them being confounded by the "civilized" peoples, to living in smaller areas with scarcer resources. It is impossible to disregard the fact that they will have had contact with the outside world over time, meaning they will likely have had outside influence when it comes to tech. *Edit: I mixed up the actual battle site of Jebel Sahaba with the cave painting of archers in Cingle de la Mola (7000-4000 BCE). Jebel Sahaba shows that sharp spearheads or arrowheads were used. But it is not concrete evidence of battles with archers.