An Aboriginal tool of petrified wood.

Contributed by ruthta

An Aboriginal tool of petrified wood.

In 1966 whilst staying in the opal-mining area of Andamooka,South Australia, looking for opals around the mouth of an opal mine (noodling)I found an aboriginal stone cutting implement made from petrified wood. The implement,4 x 2cm, has clearly marked brown and auburn wood-grain, resembling mulga-wood, but it was found in an area of extensive desert sand near the Great Victoria Desert and Nullarbor Plain.It tells the story of a time when Australia was connected to the land mass to the north,when it was less dry and had more trees,of aeons of geological and climate change. The trees died and some petrified. About 60000 years ago indigenous people crossed the land bridge and made stone tools.Did they recognise and particularly value petrified wood or was it just a convenient stone to fashion into a tool? Europeans colonised the continent from the 1770's and aboriginals were dispossessed of their lands and traditional way of life. An aboriginal noodling nearby, looking for opals in 1966, was a fringe-dweller at the edge of a European way of life, in 2010 aboriginals are reclaiming land & culture. Should their historical tool be returned to them?

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Andamooka, South Australia.


I found it in 1966.


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