World’s earliest ground-edge axe production coincides with human colonisation of Australia

Peter Hiscock*, Sue O’Connor, Jane Balme, Tim Maloney

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    58 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    We report evidence for the world’s earliest ground-edge axe,44-49,000 years old. Its antiquity coincides with or immediately follows the arrival of humans on the Australian landmass. Ground/polished axes are not associated with the eastward dispersal of Homo sapiens across Eurasia and the discovery of axes in Australia at the point of colonisation exemplifies a diversification of technological practices that occurred as modern humans dispersed from Africa. Ground-edge axes are now known from two different colonised lands at the time humans arrived and hence we argue that these technological strategies are associated with the adaptation of economies and social practices to new environmental contexts.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)2-11
    Number of pages10
    JournalAustralian Archaeology
    Volume82
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2016

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