Carpenter’s Gap stores secret of man’s first tool

ByRV DailyJune 7, 2016
Carpenter’s Gap stores secret of man’s first tool

As if anyone needed another reason to visit the Kimberley’s, the Australian National University has unearthed a historic find in the region ­– at Winjana Gorge National Park’s Carpenter’s Gap ­– which suggests it was in that very location that man first developed tools.

Professor Sarah O’Connor found the fragment of the axe, buried in a layer of charcoal sediment that was radiocarbon-dated to almost 49,000 years old – far outdating a similar item discovered in Japan from 35,000 years ago.

Work by a team of researchers at the University of Sydney revealed the axe had been made from basalt then polished by grinding it on a softer rock, such as sandstone, until it was smooth.

Windjana Gorge National Park is one of the Kimberley’s most stunning gorges, with water-streaked walls that rise majestically to heights of one hundred metres.