Boomerangs used to retouch lithic tools

A new study into the versatile uses of boomerangs found that hardwood objects were used to shape the edges of stone tools used by Australian Indigenous communities .

The research, published in PLOS One particular, demonstrated how boomerangs could function as retouchers of lithic (or stone) tools by studying the wear generated on the surfaces of boomerangs during refinishing activities.

It has been found that these wear impacts on boomerangs are comparable to those observed on tools Paleolithic bone retouching, which date back more than 200 000 years.

The research adds to a previous study of the uses of the boomerang conducted by the same team at Griffith University’s Australian Center for Human Evolutionary Research, but also highlights the subject more did you know bstantial of the versatile application of many indigenous tools across Australia.

Arche PhD prospect Eva Francesca Martellotta said the study revealed a deep functional link between bones and wooden objects – a topic rarely studied in archaeological contexts.

“The study of shaping procedures applied to stone tools is crucial to understanding our past ”, Martellotta said.

“Thinking in modern terms is like understanding the difference between a butcher knife and a knife of comfort: their blades have different shapes — one straight, the other toothed — because they are used to cut different materials. different functions.

“Australian boomerangs are mainly used as hunting and fighting weapons. However, they also have many other functions, related to the daily activities of Aboriginal communities.

“In our short article, we have brought together traditional knowledge and experimental archeology to investigate a use forgotten by the boomerangs: modifying the cutting edges of stone tools.

“This activity is fundamental to producing a variety of stone tools, each of them having one or more functions.

“Experimental traditional craft replicas of boomerangs have proven to be very functional in fashioning stone tools.

“Our results are the first scientific proof of the versatile nature of these iconic objects.”

“Good That our results scientifically quantify for the first time the versatility of everyday tools like boomerangs is something Indigenous peoples have known for a very long time.”

Study co-author Paul Craft, a man from Birrunburra/Bundjalung/Yugambeh/Yuggera/Turrbal, contributed two of the four hardwood boomerangs used in the experiments carving (shaping) of lithic tools, which were carried out in Griffith’s experimental archeology research laboratory located outside. at the Nathan Campus.

The EXARC Experimental Archeology Association partially funded the project through an Experimental Archeology Award 2021.

Related Articles

Back to top button