Reversible axe on adze, green stone blade, North Papua (Astrolabe Bay)

2000 BCE in Astrolabe Bay

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Reversible axe on adze, green stone blade, North Papua (Astrolabe Bay)

Primitive hand axe (top), fragging stick (middle) and bow drill (bottom). The hand axe, dating from c 2000 BC has a greenstone blade that is tied to the handle by grass rope. Sharpened greenstone is a good material for cutting and chopping. Discovered in Papua New Guinea, the axe's right angled design maximised the force its users could bring to bear on an object. This type of axe is still used for general woodwork. The fragging stick was used in conjunction with a sickle when reaping. The Inuit or Eskimo bow drill is made of ivory and was found in Greenland.


Hand and Machine Tools
Object Number:
hand tools
Oldman, W.O.

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