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Giant Stone-age Axes Found In African Lake Basin

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posted on Sep, 14 2009 @ 07:29 AM
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ScienceDaily (Sep. 14, 2009) — A giant African lake basin is providing information about possible migration routes and hunting practices of early humans in the Middle and Late Stone Age periods, between 150,000 and 10,000 years ago.

Oxford University researchers have unearthed new evidence from the lake basin in Botswana that suggests that the region was once much drier and wetter than it is today.

They have documented thousands of stone tools on the lake bed, which sheds new light on how humans in Africa adapted to several substantial climate change events during the period that coincided with the last Ice Age in Europe.

ScienceDaily Article

Yet more evidence that humans adapted to climate change, even back in the stone age. To think there are tens of thousands of these artefacts littering that single lake bed too, imagine what lies elsewhere in places we have not looked yet. Its an interesting find!





posted on Sep, 14 2009 @ 07:38 AM
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Originally posted by refuse_orders


Researchers have unearthed new evidence from the lake basin in Botswana that suggests that the region was once much drier and wetter than it is today.



Much drier AND wetter than it is today? LOL I think someone got their information a little screwed up (not blaming you OP, I'm blaming the author of the article).



posted on Sep, 14 2009 @ 07:42 AM
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reply to post by Kryties
 


Can you get more drier than a dried up lake bed?

I noticed when i first read the article it didn't sound right.



posted on Sep, 14 2009 @ 07:47 AM
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Originally posted by Kryties

Originally posted by refuse_orders


Researchers have unearthed new evidence from the lake basin in Botswana that suggests that the region was once much drier and wetter than it is today.



Much drier AND wetter than it is today? LOL I think someone got their information a little screwed up (not blaming you OP, I'm blaming the author of the article).


I'd say the author was talking about cycles, but it wasn't well presented. Fact is, a huge amount of our (pre)history is hidden under water and marine sediments.



posted on Sep, 14 2009 @ 07:50 AM
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reply to post by JohnnyCanuck
 


Oh I don't doubt that whatsoever. I don't doubt it to the extent that I think it's a little arrogant and ignorant for any mainstream scientist not to acknowledge the possibility of whole civilisations buried out there that have the potential to change our version of history as we know it!



posted on Sep, 14 2009 @ 08:04 AM
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Originally posted by Kryties
reply to post by JohnnyCanuck
 


Oh I don't doubt that whatsoever. I don't doubt it to the extent that I think it's a little arrogant and ignorant for any mainstream scientist not to acknowledge the possibility of whole civilisations buried out there that have the potential to change our version of history as we know it!


Well I'd say that pretty much everybody acknowledges the possibility. In fact, marine archaeology is an important adjunct to the science.

But being a science, the emphasis is upon what you know. Possibilities create research questions and initiate investigations...that's how it's done. You go with what you know, until that changes. Sounds good to me.



posted on Sep, 14 2009 @ 09:04 AM
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What gets me is the size of those axe heads. For one, why would you need an axe that big? Two, they were found at the bottom of a lake, so hunters were probably using it to kill, as animals were drinking or stuck in the mud. Three, they look like spearheads to me.. Who was man enough to throw a spear big enough to accommodate that spear head?

Cool findings none the less.

[edit on 14-9-2009 by The Undertaker]



posted on Sep, 14 2009 @ 09:06 AM
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Nice find and those axes look huge next to the person's hand in the picture!

Given the size of the axes - I wonder if they have found any human remains on the site and if they were larger than normal. However, if they were I'm not sure they would let that information out.



posted on Sep, 14 2009 @ 09:13 AM
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Originally posted by The Undertaker
What gets me is the size of those axe heads. For one, why would you need an axe that big? Two, they were found at the bottom of a lake, so hunters were probably using it to kill, as animals were drinking or stuck in the mud. Three, they look like spearheads to me.. Who was man enough to throw spear big enough to accommodate that spear head?


Perspective is part of the problem...the article cited axes some 30cm in length...making them about 10 inches or so, right? The camera angle makes the closest one look huge. Even so, that is pretty darn big in terms of spear points....but to be hafted onto a lance that several men might ram into a slow moving animal...wounded elephant...sloth...that kind of thing...

Conversely, it might have been an axe...or a ritual object...use big tools to pray for big game. I guess the context of the finds will help to sort all of that out.



posted on Sep, 14 2009 @ 09:32 AM
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reply to post by JohnnyCanuck
 


Good point JohnnyCanuck. The first thing I thought of when I seen them was giants. Had my mind going in alot of different directions. I'm glad you weighed in on that or I might have posted something utterly stupid! Star and flagged good find.



posted on Sep, 14 2009 @ 09:34 AM
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This is just an unsubstantiated guess but I think those "hand axes" weren't the type to have been fastened to a shaft or handle, they don't seem to have a notch or grove for a handle. They were probably hefted, with two hands, from the rear of the axe and driven down like a big sharpened stone, which is what it is.

I would guess that they used these axes for butchering and dismembering larger animals where the weight of the axes would help to dislocate joints or break larger bones to access the marrow.

That's my theory at least.



posted on Sep, 14 2009 @ 09:46 AM
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Originally posted by Shadowflux
This is just an unsubstantiated guess but I think those "hand axes" weren't the type to have been fastened to a shaft or handle, they don't seem to have a notch or grove for a handle. They were probably hefted, with two hands, from the rear of the axe and driven down like a big sharpened stone, which is what it is.

I would guess that they used these axes for butchering and dismembering larger animals where the weight of the axes would help to dislocate joints or break larger bones to access the marrow.

That's my theory at least.


Could be...but there are lots of lanceolate and leaf-shaped points out there with no grooves or flutes for hafting. Might prefer knives for butchering though...need to think of how you'd do it given the tools at hand.

I like your phraseology, though...we can debate hefting vs hafting. Got a nice ring to it.



posted on Sep, 14 2009 @ 09:53 AM
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reply to post by JohnnyCanuck
 


Heh, well I'm going to stick with hefting. Unless, of course, they were status symbols. Why listen to the chief? He's the biggest guy with the biggest axe, that's why.

I'm basing my theory on almost no information but if you look at the size of the bones on something like a mammoth (I know we're talking about Africa) you can imagine it would take a really big knife to butcher one.



posted on Sep, 14 2009 @ 09:58 AM
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Originally posted by Shadowflux
I'm basing my theory on almost no information but if you look at the size of the bones on something like a mammoth (I know we're talking about Africa) you can imagine it would take a really big knife to butcher one.


Of course...cracking bones for marrow, etc. That's why I commented on needing the context for a better picture. Just wanted to say that lots of hafted weapons/tools had no notching to do the job.



posted on Sep, 14 2009 @ 10:14 AM
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reply to post by refuse_orders
 


I don't know, man...maybe some were just trying to overcompensate for some perceived deficiency; you know, like today, its bigger cars



posted on Sep, 14 2009 @ 10:18 AM
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reply to post by JohnnyCanuck
 


It's a good point, I'm not arguing. I'm just establishing my own poorly informed theory lol



posted on Sep, 14 2009 @ 11:58 AM
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At some point they will do a microscopic study of the wear patterns on those large tools. That should give some idea of their use or non-use and for what purpose they would used for.



posted on Sep, 14 2009 @ 05:13 PM
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They are on the large side for being hafted to a stick, the larger your stone is the harder it is to fix effectivley.
The largest one looks alot like a digging blade still in use by papuans.
Id lay bets though that they were used for buthchering large animals like elephants and such.
fascinating stuff



posted on Sep, 17 2009 @ 11:54 AM
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Originally posted by The Undertaker
What gets me is the size of those axe heads. For one, why would you need an axe that big? Two, they were found at the bottom of a lake, so hunters were probably using it to kill, as animals were drinking or stuck in the mud. Three, they look like spearheads to me.. Who was man enough to throw a spear big enough to accommodate that spear head?

Cool findings none the less.


Yep, i don't think any of the above responders took a look at the axes.

The two last ones to the right arebig, and the last one is huge. A normal person couldn't carry that around, and much less have any strength left to lift it after running after their next meal. I think at least the last two axes show that there were giants in that area.



posted on Sep, 17 2009 @ 12:30 PM
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Originally posted by ElectricUniverse
Yep, i don't think any of the above responders took a look at the axes.

The two last ones to the right arebig, and the last one is huge. A normal person couldn't carry that around, and much less have any strength left to lift it after running after their next meal. I think at least the last two axes show that there were giants in that area.


AS one of the 'above responders', I'd point out the following from the article:

Four giant stone hand axes, measuring over 30 cm long and of uncertain age, were recovered from the lake basin. www.sciencedaily.com...


Then I'd point out the bit where I said:

"Perspective is part of the problem...the article cited axes some 30cm in length...making them about 10 inches or so, right? The camera angle makes the closest one look huge. Even so, that is pretty darn big in terms of spear points....but to be hafted onto a lance that several men might ram into a slow moving animal...wounded elephant...sloth...that kind of thing... "

But, hey, if that says giants to you...run with it.




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