Mysterious 6,000 year old Neolithic tool

Photo: Trond Meling, Universitetet i Stavanger

 

It is wooden, about 6,000 years old and was found at a stone age settlement at Sømmevågen, near Stavanger Airport in Norway. It is about 20cm long.

The slit which looks to be about 10cm long and about 0.5cm wide suggests to me that its application was connected to the collection/gathering/ sorting and twisting of some kind of fibre material (early rope?). My guess is that this is an early “weaving” tool.

Wooden stone age tools are rare but not unknown. The remains of wooden paddles, handles for axes, lances and even front-weighted throwing spears have been found. Certainly the use of natural fibres to make string/rope would have been known by this time. To “weave” these into early versions of strip and cloth would have required some wooden tools.

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