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In this world, a Bronze Age tribe hunts and is hunted by multiple species of large dinosaur. What bronze age weaponry would be utilized by these people for the purposes of combating these beasts, either in offensive hunts or defensive fights?

For this question, I'm primarily concerned with weapons effective against large dinosaurs. Small dinosaurs could presumably be dispatched by weapons similar to those used against humans and other large mammals, but large dinosaurs such as the ~8,000 kg Tyrannosaurus rex and particularly the ~100,000 kg sizes of the largest sauropods would pose a unique challenge.

What known Bronze Age weaponry would be most effective against such large animals, and what novel weapons might be developed specifically to combat them?

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    $\begingroup$ Is there some back story on how dinosaurs and humans co-evolved? I'm wondering how they survived up to the point of developing the weapons in the first place. $\endgroup$ – Samuel Jul 5 '18 at 22:51
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    $\begingroup$ @Samuel's request is cool so long as the rest of us remember that we can't get caught up in the backstory. I'm with Samuel, I'm curious to know how this situation came to be (the hallmark of a good story!), but we're not here to judge the backstory. We must answer the question on its own merits. (Regrettably, I've seen questions wallow in comments and answers about the backstory and not the question...) $\endgroup$ – JBH Jul 5 '18 at 22:59
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    $\begingroup$ @JBH Agreed. I think it's relevant for potential answers as well. If they were suddenly introduced via some landbridge scenario then they would have different tactics and weapons than if they've been fighting for untold generations. $\endgroup$ – Samuel Jul 5 '18 at 23:06
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    $\begingroup$ I don't really understand the question - 8,000 kg mammoths were tough as T-Rex, but smarter and whole herds protected each other...yet ancient, puny, pre-Bronze humans ate them all. Seems like most big, stupid, solitary dinos would be easier than a mammoth herd...and dinos probably taste like chicken. $\endgroup$ – user535733 Jul 5 '18 at 23:57
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    $\begingroup$ @user535733 keep in mind many dinosaurs were herd/pack animals as well. $\endgroup$ – John Jul 6 '18 at 0:52

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Humans hunted mammoths (and possibly several other large dangerous creatures) to extinction. Hunting and killing them is easy; it is evolving alongside them that is all but impossible. The only real consistent advantage dinosaurs have is scaly skin, (which some possibly including T-rex would not have) which makes them more resistant to projectiles. Location will determine a lot of this, there are very different tactics in a open plain vs a forest, but for the most part tactics against large animals can have wide application.

Spears and group tactics are quite effective, if you have someone crazy enough to try cutting the hamstring with an ax it works even better. Spears allow you to puncture and more importantly harry, and can be thrown to keep your distance. An animal attacked from all sides gets confused and fatigued quickly. This works very well when combined with difficult terrain like swamps or mudbanks. Here is a description of one method used by elephant hunters, a high risk method that uses a six man team of spearmen. Other methods use far more people to reduce risk.

Humanity's most effective defensive tool has always been ranged combat. Atlatl and bows can bring almost anything down with little risk. Combine them with poisons and it becomes orders of magnitude more effective. Scaly skin will make this much harder but still effective. Even the most well-armored dinosaurs still have vulnerable places that can be attacked. for defense humans pitching rocks can drive away many animals including lions. Dinosaurs are animals not movie monsters, if something or someplace hurts, they leave it alone, and humans can throw a rock hard enough and accurate enough to be painful to almost anything. Combined with fire and the ability to manufacture spikes we can drive almost anything away. Note that the most dangerous animals to humans are often semi-aquatic, where many of our traps and tricks don't work.

Lastly you have simple creativity, humans killed entire herds of bison by running them off a cliff, they killed giant lizards in Australia with fires, we hunt rhino and elephants with simple metal spikes on boards or pit traps. Look at poaching techniques, cruel but effective. The ability to observe a creature's behavior and plan how to turn its own behavior against them is the reason we dominate the planet. Elephant hunters will observe behavior closely using repeated paths, waterholes, and other such places to their advantage.

To look at dinosaurs specifically, there are some things you can exploit. Armor can actually work against them, humans can hunt slow armored animals with traps very easily. Bipedal ones are vulnerable to pits and snares and can be tripped up easier. Eggs are a vulnerability as well, humans can break eggs from a distance so they can quickly remove predators.

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    $\begingroup$ "The only real advantage dinosaurs have is scaly skin". This might get refuted: nationalgeographic.co.uk/history-and-civilisation/2017/11/… $\endgroup$ – Herr Derb Jul 6 '18 at 6:48
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    $\begingroup$ Armor can actually work against you, humans can hunt slow armored animals with traps very easily. or you can keep them running with loud noises/fire etc, take turns to track them and wait for them to drop from exhaustion. $\endgroup$ – Darren Bartrup-Cook Jul 6 '18 at 11:09
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    $\begingroup$ @HerrDerb, Derived theropods did not have scales over most of the body, having proto-/ feathers instead, and they may occur in other groups, but we have skin impressions from many many dinosaurs, the vast majority of non-theropod dinosaurs, and basal theropods are covered in scales. $\endgroup$ – John Jul 6 '18 at 13:35
  • $\begingroup$ I believe that many today are for the current hypothesis that abelisaurs may have been scaly. Can't find a source for that right now, however. $\endgroup$ – SealBoi Jul 6 '18 at 15:26
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    $\begingroup$ Yeah running things off cliffs, and into pit traps, were the main methods against megafauna. Humans exceptional sweating capabilities make us uniquely good at en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/… also. In Africa where humans evolved alongside their megafauna, is the only place where a significant set of them still exist. $\endgroup$ – CriglCragl Jul 7 '18 at 2:35
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The dinos don't stand a freakin' chance.

The real question isn't, "How would a Bronze Age tribe defeat dinosaurs?"

The real question is, "How did those dinosaurs survive against humans long enough for us to develop bronze?"

If dinosaurs had somehow survived into the Paleolithic, they would have been rapidly exterminated by humans. Tyrannosaurs and all. With stone tools: no bronze required. We don't need to speculate; it is exactly what actually happened to all the existing mammalian and avian megafauna in Australasia and the Americas when humans turned up.

Why, exactly, are humans the most bad-arsed killingest monsters in the history of the planet, when we are far from the biggest? Paleontologists refer to the full set of our advantages as "the toolkit", and it has several parts that work together:

  • Intelligence: we plan our battles to best advantage, and greatest disadvantage of our enemies. Several commentators have given specific examples already, like digging traps or fighting in narrow defiles. But all those are just for warm-ups: we have more tricks than Batman's belt.
  • Teamwork: one human is a dangerous threat even to a large animal. But it won't be one. It won't even be fifty. It will be as many as it takes. And we won't attack at random, but as a single co-ordinated mega-organism, because of:
  • Communication: our sophisticated language skills not only enable the whole tribe to work together like a single gigantic entity; they also enable the lessons learned in one generation to be passed on to succeeding generations, and shared with distant allied tribes, so that our skills and tactics constantly improve. For example, all the warriors will soon have a good idea of each animal's weak points: the zones that are safest to attack, yet likely to bring it down quickly.
  • Missile weapons: it has only been realised surprisingly recently that the human body is specially adapted for missile throwing, and that it is one of our super-powers. Even the most dangerous predator avoids unnecessary fights, because it isn't a TV monster motivated by evil: it's an animal doing this for a living, and if it gets wounded it's going to be in a lot of trouble trying to hunt next week. But by use of missile weapons Man has the power to wound or kill dangerous opponents at minimal personal risk. It doesn't matter if the first javelin doesn't kill the Tyrannosaurus: there will be more, and more, until it either flees in terror or becomes too weak to fight.
  • Fire: mastery of fire brings immense power in several ways. Even very dangerous animals can be herded and channelled into traps as if being lead by the nose. Packs of animals can be exterminated en masse. Entire landscapes can be modified to support our preferred lifestyle and make it harder for our enemies to survive (or, perhaps, to hide from us.)
  • Domesticated animals: dogs prevent us getting surprised, and enable tracking the wounded monster to its lair. Horses enable us to run rings around a tyrannosaurus. (There is still some debate about their top speed, but the consensus is that it was slower than a horse. They probably also turned slowly, and had little stamina for a long race.)
  • Blades: whether they be obsidian in the Upper Paleolithic or honed bronze in the Bronze Age, worked tools provide the ability for human-sized strength to inflict massively damaging wounds. It doesn't matter how big it is; no real animal shrugs off a full-strength blow with a razor sharp blade mounted on a polearm. If the beast is only middling huge, it goes down. If it is gigantic, it may take a while to die, but it is mortally wounded. Yes, this even applies to 100 ton sauropods. We know this because the same method has been used for a single man to kill 200 ton whales.
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  • $\begingroup$ Crocodilians resist stone blades very well, stone points don't penetrate scutes, they shatter against them. Dinosaurs have the same type of scutes.you will only get penetration if you manage to kit between the scutes. $\endgroup$ – John Jul 7 '18 at 20:30
  • $\begingroup$ Don't forget trade. You can bet that if dinosaurs live in one place and metal ores are found in another, there will soon be a regular trade route swapping dinosaur hide for metal artefacts. $\endgroup$ – Paul Johnson Jul 8 '18 at 12:20
  • $\begingroup$ @John: sorry, unless you have a reference to demonstrate that, I'm afraid I don't believe it. Scutes are primarily just thickened keratin, sometimes with some inclusion of bone but substantial gaps between the osteoderms. Many types of stone used for weapons are much tougher than either -- there are documented accounts of stone weapons used to sever a horse's head, including all the bone in the spine. Furthermore, Papuan natives formerly hunted crocodiles with /wooden/ weapons, and some Sepik river tribes still do. Fire-hardened hardwood, but wood nevertheless. $\endgroup$ – Securiger Jul 10 '18 at 12:18
  • $\begingroup$ obviously if it hits between the scutes it will penetrate, hence "resistant" and I tough is not a great measure of a projectiles penetrating power, a thrown quartz pebble is tough. There is not documented cases of a stone weapon decapitating a horse there is an account by spanish conquistadors, hardly reliable, involving macuahuitl, that's like saying a metal arrow can go through a tree because you can chop down a tree with an saw. Stone arrowheads are not magic, material strength of what they hit matters. $\endgroup$ – John Jul 10 '18 at 18:03
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Bronze age people couldn't do much when going face-to-face against a large dinosaur.

However, there is a number of inventions that can help people prevail.

  1. Traps. Even primitive people can construct large traps that would be deadly for even the largest of dinosaurs. The problem would be to lure them into a trap while avoiding being stomped or torn apart;
  2. Fire. Dinosaurs may be afraid of fire, and people can use it to their advantage. And if they are not afraid, people still have better odds in a fight when using fire;
  3. Poison. People can figure out what can poison big dinosaurs and apply this substance to their arrows;
  4. Pikes. They will be effective against smaller, bear-sized reptiles;
  5. Ballistae. They may be able to kill large dinosaur outright, but have very low mobility. I suggest that ballistae can be used only for defense of human settlements;
  6. Caltrops. While not particularly damaging against large animals, they can be effective in "area denial", and also to make a t-Rex abandon its pursuit.
  7. Domesticated dinosaurs. If people can domesticate large dinosaurs, this will considerably help in a possible battle. Imagine a 50+ ton bronze-armored sauropod with human warriors and ballista on its back.
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    $\begingroup$ Imagine it? I had the action figure when I was a kid. $\endgroup$ – Xavon_Wrentaile Jul 6 '18 at 2:04
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    $\begingroup$ The easy way to administer poison would be to bait some dead food animals and wait for the large dinosaurs to,scavenge. $\endgroup$ – Sarriesfan Jul 6 '18 at 5:51
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    $\begingroup$ I like your answer but feel that the last three points are unrealistic. Ballistae in the Bronze Age are an anachronism by a couple of hundred years, and even then the early Greek models wouldn't be much of a deterrent to a T-rex. Could be good for medium sized dinos though? 'Bronze Age bronze' caltrops would likely be crushed by a large dinosaur and would be an extremely expensive waste of metal to minorly annoy a dino. Whilst I don't doubt that over time humans could domesticate certain dinos, the dinos that would be useful fighting other dinos wouldn't be - otherwise we'd have tamed lions! $\endgroup$ – Korthalion Jul 6 '18 at 9:23
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    $\begingroup$ @Korthalion Caltrops would be quite effective - sharp bronze tips on wood stakes would be cheap and easy. The weight of the beast drives the sharp point into its foot (the caltrop does not need to remain pristine and undeformed after having been stepped on - breakage is expected and can even be of benefit leaving pieces embedded in the foot). Work-hardened bronze is more than hard enough to pierce flesh (else it would be absolutely useless for weapons). It isn't like it has to get through steel armor. Once you damage the feet of such a beast, it would have great difficulty moving around. $\endgroup$ – pluckedkiwi Jul 6 '18 at 15:00
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    $\begingroup$ @pluckedkiwi Fair, I was imagining 100% bronze caltops, don't see why tipped wooden ones wouldn't be rigid enough to pierce a dino foot. You still run into the problem of bronze being extremely expensive to produce. Look up the ludicrous amount of malachite that was needed to produce Otzi the Iceman's copper axe - any bronze available is going to go to spear tips rather than caltops. $\endgroup$ – Korthalion Jul 7 '18 at 16:39
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I'm going to start with the tried and true pike. The weapon, not the fish (not that a firm slap with a Haddock doesn't demand attention, just maybe the wrong kind of attention). In the picture below, the dude on the right is holding a pike. (Image courtesy Dwarf Fortess Wiki.)

enter image description here

Pikes are a very traditional way of stopping large, heavy creatures (usually horses, but a T-rex will do in a pinch). Ideally, piercing the heart is really useful, but you can also get the critter hung up on the pike such that it's seriously disabled. In the case of something really heavy, like the aforementioned T-rex, it might make more sense to ground the back of the pike so the force of impact was against the ground instead of your hands.

If, on the otherhand, you're planning to kill said T-rex, then I'm very much in favor of the spike-filled pit. In this case you can use the weight of the lizard against him by dropping a log over the pit to run across, thereby leading hapless lizard to its doom. alternatively, bronze-age people had rope, meaning they could make a rudimentary bridge. (By the end of the bronze age they could have fashioned very respectible bridges. The point is, it could collapse under the weight of the dinosaur, preferably after the human ran across it.)

Finally, the bronze age folks also had chariots, which would be useful against the larger, less agile dinosaurs (bronze age people wouldn't call them dinosaurs. They'd probably have a word derived from "Aaaaaaaahhhhhhhh!" Maybe "Ahdu" to honor the god "du" who preserved them from the dinosaurs. It's almost a prayer, if you think about it, but I'm off track.). Smaller dinos (ahdus...) would succumb to axes and sabers, so I can imagine developing an inverse-curve weapon similar to this bad boy: (image courtesy Toynk Toys via Amazon.)

enter image description here

That makes loping off a leg or a head much simpler.

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    $\begingroup$ If you piked a dinosaur like a T Rex the momentum would be insane. Also pikes would not work well in bronze as it is too weak. $\endgroup$ – P.Lord Jul 6 '18 at 0:41
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    $\begingroup$ Rather than a pike, you should aim for something like a boar spear. This is a (fairly) short, heavy spear with a pronounced crossguard under the blade. The crossguard helps prevent the boar from charging up the spear and attacking you after you've already impaled it. Against a larger dinosaur, you would probably want to brace it on the ground rather than try holding it. $\endgroup$ – Cadence Jul 6 '18 at 1:27
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    $\begingroup$ @P.Lord, because the hide of the dinosaur is too tough? The bronze part is only the tip (be it blade or simply coating the sharpened end). The shaft is usually wood. $\endgroup$ – JBH Jul 6 '18 at 2:24
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    $\begingroup$ @Cadence, the purpose of a pike is to bury itself inside the animal, either killing it or seriously disabling it. Dinos are way bigger than boars, so you'd need a spear head, what, at least a meter long before those two wings? and since the animal is so much bigger, the spear would need to be very much longer. Google suggests heights of 15-20 feet. Historical pikes were meant to stop horses only 6-7 feet tall. Now that you've brought it up, the pike might need to be considerably longer to meet the need. $\endgroup$ – JBH Jul 6 '18 at 2:30
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    $\begingroup$ @kingledion : predators are very risk-averse, otherwise they would quickly go extinct. Especially if you use multiple pikemen, any predator would be very shy of attacking them, because it knows that if it gets injured, it will starve to death because it can no longer hunt effectively. This is why herbivores kill more people than predators: boars, hippos, rhinos and many species of bovines can blindly charge at people. Predators won't do that. Predators are intelligent, they will quickly learn to stay the hell away from pike formations. $\endgroup$ – vsz Jul 6 '18 at 4:35
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Offense: Atlatl - the weapon between spear and arrow.

From the Manitoba Museum:

An atlatl is a hunting tool that is in two parts, a dart or very thin spear and a throwing board which is used to propel the dart. In most of North America it was the hunting tool of choice for many thousands of years. Archaeologists often use the size of projectile points as indication of which hunting tool was used.

enter image description here

Ancient hunting parties (outside Africa, where no evidence has been found) used atlatls to repeatedly puncture their prey from a greater (safer) range than spear-throwing distance, yet with surprisingly good accuracy. Then they merely tracked the prey while it bled out. Atlatl use decreased when larger prey became scarce.

Modern example: One hit on a deer, two days to track the prey.

As a weapon, used carefully with terrain and teamwork of the hunting party to trap the dinosaur(s), the whole tribe will eat well for many days.

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  • $\begingroup$ Atlatl may have been used on mammoths, too. $\endgroup$ – sjl Jul 6 '18 at 5:14
  • $\begingroup$ @sjl indeed! That's why I thought of it. $\endgroup$ – user535733 Jul 6 '18 at 5:26
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Humans are smart, and smart humans kill baby Tyrannosaurs

Why would you mess with an adult Tyrannosaur? To be sure, a Bronze Age society would have the weaponry to do some damage. A spear thrower plus some bronze tipped darts will certainly give even the tyrant lizard king reason to reconsider what it is doing.

But remember, folks, our stone age ancestors were the most effective predators that ever graced this planet. We made mammoths extinct; we made saber tooth tigers extinct. We make one ton bears that hunted horses and bison extinct. Humans are intelligent pack hunters that are effectively unstoppable.

So that all being said, lets look at the limitations of dinosaurs. Specifically (as mentioned in previous posts of mine), big dinosaurs take a long time to grow up. Here is a Tyrannosaurs growth chart:

enter image description here

Look how long that Tyrannosaur is tiny! It will take over 5 years for a Tyrannosaurs to be larger than a human; and over 12 years before the T. Rex is larger than a cow. In that time, I can guarantee you, our cave man ancestors will have worked out how to remove the small ones.

Conclusion

Humans are smart, and dinosaurs take a long time to grow up. A Bronze Age society with its food surplus would find a way to employ full time dinosaur hunters to eliminate any potential dinosaurs when they are small. That way, there won't be more than the occasional large dinosaur wandering in from the wilderness beyond. As Bronze Age humans spread across the Earth, dinosaurs will likely find themselves facing extinction.

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  • $\begingroup$ And if push comes to shove, they can always pray down a rock from the heavens to smite the unbelieving dinosaurs! $\endgroup$ – Bob Jarvis Jul 6 '18 at 2:44
  • $\begingroup$ So we know how long tyrannosaurs stayed close to their mother and/or father? They probably need too much food to live in large packs, but if that didn’t get rid of them quickly, it seems like it would put strong selective pressure on them to protect their young. $\endgroup$ – Davislor Jul 6 '18 at 3:30
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    $\begingroup$ Mammoths went extinct in the bronze age from global warming. Those 1 tonne bears died out due to climate change. Sabre tooth tigers died because they were driven to different areas and then global warming killed them. Also Davislor is correct. And as previous people have said the herbivores are the problem + the pack aninals like velociraptors. We weren't godlike hunters. We were just helped by climate change. $\endgroup$ – P.Lord Jul 6 '18 at 13:39
  • $\begingroup$ @P.Lord: please provide links, i'd like to learn more because here (especially in W.B.) i see a lot of answers that picture humans as terminators, and i'm not very confident with these answers. $\endgroup$ – theGarz Jul 6 '18 at 14:42
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    $\begingroup$ @P.Lord That is super silly. Global warming and cooling, and climate change of all sorts have been happening since the beginning of time. You are saying that it just happened, randomly, that most of the megafauna in Australia went extinct 40k years ago; most of the megafauna in the Americans went extinct 12k years ago; and most of the megafauna in Madagascar went extinct 2k years ago. All these different climate change events in different parts of the world...and none of them had to do with humans arriving at exactly the same time? Occam's Razor should tell you what happened. $\endgroup$ – kingledion Jul 6 '18 at 15:39
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Traps, especially pit traps, are a bronze age tribe's best bet against T-rex or other gigantic dinosaurs. The T-rex falls in, then you drop rocks on it. Maybe you also have sharp stakes at the bottom.

Depending on when exactly in the bronze age you're talking about, they may also have access to siege weapons like the scorpion or ballista. Traditionally in the bronze age, these fired round stones for knocking down fortifications, but I don't believe there is anything preventing them from firing arrows as long as a person. You don't need to shoot all the way through a T-rex to kill it; just deep enough to hit a vital organ.

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The Three T's - Teamwork, Terrain and Traps. Regular weapons in large groups may be enough to severely hamper or defeat large dinosaurs, particularly if used by trained and coordinated groups of dino-hunters.

As Ryan_L mentioned, traps could also be used - pitfalls, stakes, nets to entangle and slow. Luring it into a canyon and then dropping large rocks on it may also prove effective - and shows a good use of terrain. Caltrops and spikes would be devastatingly effective against the larger dinosaurs such as Sauropods. Once it's lame you can finish it off and your leisure and eat for a year.

Man-made terrain will also be a huge advantage - I'm picturing a series of tunnels and bolt-holes used as escape routes and shelters from hungry T-Rexs, whilst other hunters pop out of holes in the walls to fire stones and arrows.

Fire could also be used to herd and corral the beasts - flushing them out of heavily wooded areas, or using a bank of fires to ward them away from the camp.

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Cheval de frise

Seems like cheval de frise would be easy enough to make:
$\hspace{150px}$.
They're portable, so soldiers would carry them to a battle site as cover from cavalry (horses). Early humans could've done the same, then taken down dinosaurs with ranged weapons, either with the intent to actually bring a dinosaur down or to goad them into being impaled on the spears.

The particular picture above was designed for horse-sized attackers; one meant for larger dinosaurs might use a smaller number of thicker logs, perhaps with bronze spear-like tips if available. Hunters might want to bring several such that they could retreat when rushed.

Around long-term settlements, humans would likely favor using thicker logs firmly planted into the ground, again with bronze spear-tips if available. They'd probably also put in random pits; the pits wouldn't need to be deep or hidden, but rather just enough to deny a hypothetical rushing dinosaur firm footing and balance before it hits the spike walls. If available, randomly scattering large rocks or/and thick logs parallel to the ground (like tripping wire) could also help.

Long-term settlements would probably want defenses against smaller dinosaurs and other humans, too. For that, they could use traditional wooden walls as an inner barrier.

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  • $\begingroup$ Just to note it, I was thinking of a more fictional type of environment in which significant numbers of large dinosaurs were a continuing fact of life, ignoring the logistics behind how they'd probably go extinct. $\endgroup$ – Nat Jul 7 '18 at 20:50
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How do humans and T-Rexes co-exist? First off, neither of them considers the other a primary food source. Humans are dinky little creatures that are way more trouble to catch than they're worth. To some predators we smell bad. Meanwhile as a top predator/scavenger, T-Rexes have all the parasites that can be expected and they probably don't taste good either.

Also, if we kill one when we don't want all the meat, that's many tons of meat that will attract a whole lot of scavengers while it rots. You don't want it rotting in your back yard and you don't want those vultures and hyenas hanging out there either.

So it might settle into generally peaceful coexistence. Humans only have to deal with the occasional loser T-Rex that can't get a territory anywhere else and is reduced to trying to take one from us. T-Rexes only have to deal with the occasional loser human who has been thrown out of the tribe and has nowhere else to go, or the occasional loser tribe that can't compete with other tribes for land and has no better choice than compete with dragons.

Human population pressure might eventually leave us encroaching on the big predators, but the slower the population grows the slower that happens. It could look like stability over a human lifespan.

Also, imagine the following scenario -- the T-Rexes are good at preying on 5-ton animals that tend to live in swamps but that come out of the swamps and rummage around. Humans learn by experience that when they have T-Rexes around, the smaller rummagers are not much trouble. But when the T-Rexes are gone the smaller animals are a lot of trouble. They breed in large numbers in the swamp and their surplus comes out and takes our crops and tramples things. If we don't have T-Rexes we need to go into the swamps and cull the things ourselves. So we're better off with T-Rexes.

As for how to drive them away when we need to, that depends a whole lot on how smart they are, and how dedicated they are.

Humans with fire are scary. Would the T-rexes have flammable hair or feathers? That would be enough to scare them off unless they were determined. But if they felt implacable, animals that could put out campfires by stepping on them might not be deterred.

If the big animals were smart, and occasionally determined enough to attack anyway, they could do a lot of damage. If they considered themselves at war, and used smart tactics, and were willing to take a chance of sacrificing themselves for their families and nations, that would be very hard.

If it was something like smart T-Rexes with a bronze age civilization, determined to wipe out humanity before humanity exterminated them, then I can't at all say who would win.

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None of the answers so far mention the obvious: Dinosaurs are reptiles and cold-blooded. Humans are warm-blooded. All of the above techniques will work twice as good during early morning when the dinos are still warming up, but human bodies are already working at full efficiency.

This has the added advantage that semi-aquatic creatures are much more likely to be found on land and much, much less likely to surprise you with a leap out of the water.

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  • $\begingroup$ Many Paleontologists now think that dinosaurs like their decendants the birds were endothermic rather than exothermic, just like mammals. $\endgroup$ – Sarriesfan Jul 7 '18 at 7:52
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As no one has mentioned it one technology (although not strictly a weapon) a Bronze Age civilisation could deploy against large creatures such as dinosaurs is defensive fortifications.

In Britain the Bronze Age people had by the Late Bronze Age started to build Hillforts with a series of steep side defensive ditches and palisades.

The Greeks, Egyptians etc. were even more advanced and constructed thick stone walls several feet high. Bronze Age Troy had walls at least 15ft high for example, those of us who grew up with the old upright stance for a T-Rex would not take too much comfort from this but modern stances put the height much lower. Sue the largest T-Rex known stands around 12ft high.

This would enable peoples of the Bronze Age to defend themselves using projectiles or long spears against dinosaurs in relative safety.

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The answer is trip and fall. Use nets to cause them to trip and fall so they break and die.

Use shallow pits and they will break their legs and die.

Stone Age weapons have no chance you can't even reach their bodies. Tyrannosaurus Rex had a 4 kilometre vision acuity so team tactics are never going to work against it.

The principles for the other enormous dinosaurs would be similar to fighting T T Rex though the four legged ones would extra hard. How To Fight a T. Rex (and Win) (Because Science on Youtube explains the difficulties)

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