Edge grinding at 35KY BP in Australia

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Edge grinding at 35KY BP in Australia

Postby 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.
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Re: Edge grinding at 35KY BP in Australia

Postby Digit » Sat Nov 06, 2010 11:48 am

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

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Re: Edge grinding at 35KY BP in Australia

Postby 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.
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Re: Edge grinding at 35KY BP in Australia

Postby 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?
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Re: Edge grinding at 35KY BP in Australia

Postby 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?
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Re: Edge grinding at 35KY BP in Australia

Postby 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.

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Re: Edge grinding at 35KY BP in Australia

Postby 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...
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Re: Edge grinding at 35KY BP in Australia

Postby 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.

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Re: Edge grinding at 35KY BP in Australia

Postby 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.

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