A unique ax of a hippo bone was found with an age of 1.4 million. years

Archeology found a unique artifact – a bone hatchet made by Homo Erectus in the Conso formation in South Ethiopia. Despite the fact that this tool was widely used 1-2 million years ago, all the samples found before were exclusively stone. Before this opening, only one ax made of an elephant bone found in the Alduvai Gorge in Tanzania was known. And now there are two of them, but both are very different.

The archaeologist from the University of Tokhoku (Japan) Katsuhiro Sano compared the find with the bones of famous large animals and came to the conclusion that the femoral bone became the original material. In those days, this area of Ethiopia was a “patchwork swamp”, with large volumes of pure water and flooding meadows – paradise for hippos. And volcanic activity in the region from century to century changed the terrain and closed access h. Erectus to the fields of good stone.

It is very interesting that the ax is made using the technologies of the Ashel culture, which is poorly suitable for bone processing, but allows you to form a long cutting edge. Initially, the master cut off a large piece of suitable shape from the workpiece, and then with a series of light blows, he rumbled a layer by a layer to form the working part of the ax. In the find, it is about 5 cm long and has obvious traces of wear, characteristic of cutting carcasses of animals. Probably, an ax was owned by a skilled hunter who was very proud of his light and sharp tool.

At the same time, there are no traces of heavy strokes on the ax that the bone could not stand, it was not used for rough work. That is, the creator of the ax was well versed in the properties of the material, understood the difference between the sharpness and subtlety of the blade and the durability of the tool. Perhaps the ax of the hippo bone was made as experimental, or it is one of the few successful samples that other masters could not copy.

Bone ax

Source &#8212 pnas

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