Today we are living in an era of innovation. Technological evolution is what will best describe our generation, as we’ve reached heights never before seen or even imagined. We are at that point in time when we’ve managed to develop technologies that even the most creative science fiction writers couldn’t predict.
And we owe all of this to our constant drive to improve our day to day living arrangements. Technological progress is caused by a shift in the status quo, and a shift in the status quo comes as a result of our need for improvement. And a series of objects stood at the basis of all the scientific progress today – tools.
Tools are what started everything. Had we not started using tools, we’d probably still be living in caves, if not extinct. Even animals known for their intelligence are able to use tools, so it should come as no surprise that we perfected them. But our whole history with them is still mostly a mystery.
And a huge part of that mystery was just cracked, as Australian archaeologists find world’s oldest axe. The artifact was dated to be somewhere between 46,000 and 49,000 years old, about 10,000 years older than any other previous evidence of the existence of axes.
Previously, evidence of the existence of axes was only 35,000 years old, and just in Japan. The rest of the world only developed axes some 10,000 years ago. The fact that Australian natives have developed the tool tens of thousands of years before anybody else is absolutely incredible.
In fact, the dating puts the axe artifact close to the arrival of the first people in Australia, some 50,000 years ago. Add to that the fact that experts know that the first Australians did not bring axes with them from whence they came and the fact that other islands to the north had no evidence of such a tool, and it becomes obvious that the settlers arrived in Australia and just developed the multi-purpose tools.
According to Dr. Peter Hiscock from the University of Sidney, axes in Australia were used to cut down trees, to tear off their bark, and to make spears. However, their use was not spread outside the continent, and other humans discovered them on their own in due time.
The question of when axes were invented has been pursued for decades, since archaeologists discovered that in Australia axes were older than in many other places. Now we have a discovery that appears to answer the question.
Image source: BBC News
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