World's Oldest Axe Discovered In Australia

Posted: May 11 2016, 5:56am CDT | by , in News | Latest Science News

World's Oldest Axe Discovered in Australia
Australian Archaeology
  • Researcher Discover World's Oldest Axe in Australia

An ancient axe was found in Australia by the experts.

The fragment found is the size of a thumbnail. It almost resembles a tiny piece of rock. Yet it is actually a fragment of the world’s oldest known axe. The tool to which it belonged was made 49,000 years ago.

This fragmentary evidence was found in Australia. It completely upturns the theory that technology had its rudimentary beginnings on European soil. Rather, Australia was the land where all this tinkering with tools began in the first place.

The piece of axe was unearthed from a cave in the Land Down Under in the 90s. The cave was in the Windjana Gorge National Park. Basically, it is the cutting edge of an ancient axe that also had a handle.

Human beings entered the continent of Australia some 50,000 years ago. This axe can be compared to another axe which was found in Australia awhile ago. It was 35,000 years old.

Others which have been unearthed in Japan are 38,000 years old. Similar sharp implements and weapons had been used by human beings since times immemorial. Yet the making of axes began in Australia around this time in prehistory.

That a mere fragment has been discovered is not something to be despondent about. The special nature of this axe fragment is that it is highly polished and has both sharp edges meeting at a central point.

While the whole axe could not be recovered, this tiny sliver shows the contact surface and it is highly refined. There is no handle to go along with this axe. It however was not just something to be held in the hand and used. The perfect nature of this tool suggests that it was heavy and sophisticated.

Such hafted axes began appearing in Australia at that stage of human evolution. In the rest of the world such axes only appeared with the beginning of agriculture. That was approximately 10,000 years ago.

There are those who say that the axe was probably invented in the first place in Australia. There are no signs of axes at this stage in Asia. This corroborates the point that human beings began spreading around the world not because they had some special innate skills.

Rather they used their creative nature to shape the world surrounding them and thus conquered it. While in Asia, it was bamboo which became a sort of tool for homo sapiens, in Australia they had no bamboo, so they improvised.

The findings of this discovery published in the journal Australian Archaeology.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/20" rel="author">Sumayah Aamir</a>
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