An Aboriginal tool of petrified wood.

Contributed by ruthta

An Aboriginal tool of petrified wood.

Whilst staying in Andamooka, South Australia, in 1966, searching for opals around the mouth of an opal mine ('noodling')I found a small stone tool made from petrified wood. The wood clearly shows brown and chestnut-coloured wood-grain which resembles Australian mulga-wood, but it was found in an arid desert area near The Great Victorian Desert and Nullarbor Plain. The petrified wood comes from a time when Australia was joined to the land mass to the north, when there were more trees. Since then there have been major geological and climate changes, which continue and threaten Australia today. About 60000 years ago indigenous people crossed the land-bridge and made stone tools. Did they value petrified wood or was it just another handy stone to fashion into a tool? From the 1780's Europeans were the big threat to Aborigines who died of European diseases and were dispossessed of their lands and culture. In 1966 an aboriginal noodling close by me was a fringe-dweller trying to glean a living in a European way. No land rights then, not even in the census.In 2010 aboriginals are reclaiming their lands and their culture. Should the tool be returned to them?

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Found in 1966.


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