Primitive hand tools, c 2000 BC- 1000 AD.
3 2 c m
actual image size: 32cm x 24cm

Primitive hand tools, c 2000 BC- 1000 AD.

© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library


Primitive hand axe (top), fragging stick (middle) and bow drill (bottom). The reversible axe on adze, dating from c 2000 BC has a greenstone blade that is tied to the handle by gras rope. Sharpened greenstone is a good material for cutting and chopping. Discovered in Astrolabe Bay, North Papua, 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.

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