Thursday, February 21, 2019

Blomboc Cave Bone Awls

Some of the earliest speculated evidence of clothing being made comes from the Blombos Cave bone awls, dated at 77,000 years old.  In 1991, on the southern tip of Africa, archaeologists discovered bones awls, among other stone artifacts.  The bone awls were generally around 5-inches long and made from small antelope limb bones. The bones may have been broken in the process of extracting marrow, or deliberately broken to make a tool.  They show signs of a stone flake being used to sharpen the bone shards to a point.  The manufacture of these awls illustrate advanced thinking.  Interestingly, studies of the polished areas of the awls, show they were used held between the thumb and forefinger, of the right hand, 3/4 inches from the tip.  Bones awls were used to shred plants for fibers, punch holes in wood or hide, or punch lacing holes for making clothing.


Unknown said...

Mark! What you do is great!
One bone awl in the photo is very similar to the hook, which today is used for knitting or sewing leather and fur products. It is very interesting. I am also interested in primitive skills, reconstruction of ancient technologies. Do you have another (clearer) photo of this awl?

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