Tod­dler dis­cov­ers an­cient cut­ting tool

Pilbara News - - News - Robert Dougherty

A Broome tod­dler has un­earthed an an­cient relic at the speed­way grounds, which ex­perts be­lieve to be a 10,000-year-old cut­ting tool.

Eli Howlett, 4, found the pointed stone arte­fact un­der his mother’s chair while they at­tended the Broome Speed­way Pearl Cup event on Satur­day, Septem­ber 17.

Baf­fled by her son’s find, Lee Howlett took to so­cial me­dia ask­ing peo­ple to help iden­tify the un­usual ob­ject.

Univer­sity of Western Aus­tralia School of So­cial Sciences pro­fes­sor of World Rock Art, Cen­tre for Rock Art Re­search and Man­age­ment Ben­jamin Smith said the ob­ject was a cut­ting tool es­ti­mated to be up to 10,000 years old.

The dis­cov­ery also at­tracted the at­ten­tion of the Nyamba Buru Yawuru Cul­tural Ref­er­ence Group.

NBY coun­try man­ager Jo­hani Mamid said the relic was prob­a­bly de­signed to be used as a small knife.

“The arte­fact is a pointed flake of a cherty ma­te­rial, prob­a­bly orig­i­nally white in colour and stained with iron ox­ides from the Pin­dan dirt,” he said.

“One of our ex­pert ad­vis­ers sug­gested that it has been traded in to the Broome area — stone ax­e­heads were traded into the Broome area from sources close to the Napier and Oscar ranges and from along the Fitzroy.”

The relic will now be doc­u­mented and stored in the Yawuru archives.

Yawuru lan­guage co-or­di­na­tor Maya Shioji, project of­fi­cer Sarah Yu with Eli, Lee and Eve­lyn Howlett and Jo­hani Mamid. Pic­ture: Nyamba Buru Yawuru Ltd

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