7,500-year-old pointed flint stone resembling modern-day drill bits has been discovered at a prehistoric village in Turkey’s northwestern Bursa province.
The ancient tool was discovered during excavations at Aktopraklık Settlement Mound in Bursa’s Nilüfer district, which sheds light onto 8,500 years of history, Anadolu Agency said.
The item is composed of a worked flint tip, which is hafted to a small wooden rod. A saucer-shaped stone rests above this, with a hole neatly drilled in its center, through which the wooden rod passes. Above this, a second, shorter rod is connected to the primary shaft in perpendicular fashion; a length of twine runs from the vertical end of the primary rod to each of the ends of the shorter fixture, giving an appearance similar to that of a ship’s sail.
The lead excavator at the Aktopraklik site, Necmi Karul, said flint stones have been discovered throughout Anatolia, and have seen a variety of uses over the last several thousands of years. Karul is a professor at the Istanbul University Department of Archaeology.
“We believe that the pointed stone, which was created through the dressing of a flint stone, was used as a bit on a drill,” Karul told Daily Sabah, who reported on the discovery.
Ancient drilling devices have been in use for several thousands of years, with many similar tools easily dating back more than 30,000 years in age. Early applications for rotary tools weren’t limited to drilling, however, as the friction caused by a small length of wood spun quickly between the hands constituted one early method of creating fire. Similar activities involving stone, bone, ivory, and other materials were useful for boring small holes, which aided in the creation of clothing, jewelry, and a number of other items. Such devices were among the earliest hand drills used by people in ancient times.
Archaeologists at Aktopraklik believe the 7,500-year-old drill was likely used to create small items similar to beads, which have been found scattered throughout the site during excavations.
Aktopraklık settlement dates back to the 7th Century BC and contains significant traces of the Neolithic and Chalcolithic periods.
Aktopraklık excavation project includes all aspects of archaeological heritage and sustainable tourism and aims to integrate it into existing natural and cultural tourism on the local, national and international levels.
Archaeologists in Turkey, which has historically been a home to many ancient civilizations, frequently find significant historical artifacts throughout the country, in efforts to shed light on early human civilizations.
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