Edge grinding at 35KY BP in Australia

All points south!

Moderators: MichelleH, Minimalist

Post Reply
kbs2244
Posts: 2469
Joined: Wed Jul 12, 2006 12:47 pm

Edge grinding at 35KY BP in Australia

Post by kbs2244 » Sat Nov 06, 2010 10:06 am

From today’s news page.

http://www.theage.com.au/national/35000 ... rom=age_sb

35,000-year-old axe head places Aboriginal ancestors at the cutting edge of technology

What makes this one different, besides its age, is that the edge was done by grinding, not flaking.

I have never heard of that with stone tools.
It is, of course, the way to sharpen a metal edge.

User avatar
Digit
Posts: 6618
Joined: Tue Oct 31, 2006 1:22 pm
Location: Wales, UK

Re: Edge grinding at 35KY BP in Australia

Post by Digit » Sat Nov 06, 2010 11:48 am

Frankly I'm rather surprised that grinding is supposed to be that late.

Roy.
First people deny a thing, then they belittle it, then they say it was known all along! Von Humboldt

Minimalist
Forum Moderator
Posts: 15683
Joined: Mon Sep 26, 2005 1:09 pm
Location: Arizona

Re: Edge grinding at 35KY BP in Australia

Post by Minimalist » Sat Nov 06, 2010 1:46 pm

''We've got two dates from charcoal taken from above where the axe was found and two from below and they match exactly,'' Dr David said.

I'm always a tad skeptical about dates from the "associated organic material" camp.
Something is wrong here. War, disease, death, destruction, hunger, filth, poverty, torture, crime, corruption, and the Ice Capades. Something is definitely wrong. This is not good work. If this is the best God can do, I am not impressed.

-- George Carlin

kbs2244
Posts: 2469
Joined: Wed Jul 12, 2006 12:47 pm

Re: Edge grinding at 35KY BP in Australia

Post by kbs2244 » Sun Nov 07, 2010 3:47 pm

I agree Min.
Real old dates make me nervous.

But the grinding vs. flaking it important to me.
It is the only way to sharpen a metal edge.
But metal technology was a long time coming.

When, where, and how, did the connection take place?

Rokcet Scientist

Re: Edge grinding at 35KY BP in Australia

Post by Rokcet Scientist » Sun Nov 07, 2010 7:26 pm

the basalt axe piece measuring 4 centimetres in length has been radio-carbon dated at 35,000 years old.
How do you radio-carbon date a non-organic material that was formed hundreds of millions of years ago in tectonic/volcanic processes?

Minimalist
Forum Moderator
Posts: 15683
Joined: Mon Sep 26, 2005 1:09 pm
Location: Arizona

Re: Edge grinding at 35KY BP in Australia

Post by Minimalist » Sun Nov 07, 2010 8:17 pm

By dating the charcoal found above and below it and assuming that everything is as it has always been.

You know what they say about "assume."
Something is wrong here. War, disease, death, destruction, hunger, filth, poverty, torture, crime, corruption, and the Ice Capades. Something is definitely wrong. This is not good work. If this is the best God can do, I am not impressed.

-- George Carlin

Rokcet Scientist

Re: Edge grinding at 35KY BP in Australia

Post by Rokcet Scientist » Mon Nov 08, 2010 6:45 am

Minimalist wrote:By dating the charcoal found above and below it and assuming that everything is as it has always been.

You know what they say about "assume."
Then it was stratum dating, not radio-carbon dating.
So I wonder what else in that article was bent...

Minimalist
Forum Moderator
Posts: 15683
Joined: Mon Sep 26, 2005 1:09 pm
Location: Arizona

Re: Edge grinding at 35KY BP in Australia

Post by Minimalist » Mon Nov 08, 2010 8:33 am

It's both. They carbon date the charcoal because they know as well as you that they can't date rocks. It's the assumption that the ground has not been disturbed that always bothers me.
Something is wrong here. War, disease, death, destruction, hunger, filth, poverty, torture, crime, corruption, and the Ice Capades. Something is definitely wrong. This is not good work. If this is the best God can do, I am not impressed.

-- George Carlin

User avatar
Digit
Posts: 6618
Joined: Tue Oct 31, 2006 1:22 pm
Location: Wales, UK

Re: Edge grinding at 35KY BP in Australia

Post by Digit » Mon Nov 08, 2010 8:42 am

Although it's obviously not conclusive Min, but if the ground above post dates the ground below, then there is every chance that the two dates do follow each other. The only alternative that I can see would be that the ground above had been disturbed right down to the earlier date with the disturbance stopping just there, not impossible, but most unlikely I would suggest.

Roy.
First people deny a thing, then they belittle it, then they say it was known all along! Von Humboldt

Post Reply