World’s oldest stone axe with sharpend edge found

November 9th, 2010 - 2:16 pm ICT by IANS  

Sydney, Nov 9 (IANS) The world’s oldest stone axe with a sharpened edge has been discovered in northern Australia.

Evidence for stone tool-use among the earliest hominid ancestors of man dates back to 3.4 million years ago.

However, the first use of grinding to sharpen stone tool edges such as axes is clearly associated with modern humans, otherwise known as Homo Sapiens, reports the journal Australian Archaeology.

Monash University’s archaeologist Bruno David, who made the discovery, said while there have been reports of much older axes being found in New Guinea, the implements were not ground and sharpened.

“This suggests that axe technology evolved into the later use of grinding for the sharper, more symmetrical and maintainable edges this generates,” said David, according to a Monash release.

“The ground-axe fragment is dated to 35,000 years ago, which pre-dates the oldest examples of ground-edge implements dated 22,000-30,000 years ago from Japan and Northern Australia.”

“Axes fulfilled a unique position within the aboriginal toolkit as long-use chopping tools. They were labour intensive to manufacture and highly valued,” said David.

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