Stone tools were used to cut wood and bark from trees, to fashion wooden tools, weapons and utensils, and to pound and grind food. Stone was also used to make spear barbs (in south-eastern Australia in the past), spear points, and knives.
The range of Aboriginal stone tools and artefacts utilised in Australia includes:
- Crude hand-held choppers and hand axes used for cutting into trees and butchering animals.
A hand axe shaped like a giant double mussel shell. Length 17 cm.
- Ground-edge axes of various shapes and sizes, hafted to short wooden handles. (Ground-edge or edge-ground means that an edge of the axe has been ground or rubbed to make it smooth and sharp.) These were usually made from diorite, basalt and other volcanic rocks, which were traded across the country. In northern Queensland, large ground-edge axes were made from thin sections of slate attached to wooden handles.
Demonstrating the use of a ground-edge stone axe.
Chisels (adzes) of various shapes and sizes, used to gouge and shape wooden items. (For example, to hollow out wooden coolamons throughout inland Australia.)
A stone chisel (tuhla) is mounted with plant gum (mindrie) to the end of a wooden stick (koondi), and used to shape a boomerang (kirra). These are local names used by the Wangkangurru people of inland Australia.
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