Historical information

Inspected by Joanna Freslov, archaeologist 2.6.2008.
Ground-edged axes first appeared in south-eastern Australia about 4,000 years ago and were used either with handles or hand-held. Stone tools were used for a variety of purposes, in ways similar to those of steel knives, axes, hammers and chisels. Ground-edge tools are made from fracture-resistant stone, such as basalt. This is able to withstand repeated impact making it suitable for use in objects such as stone axes. The stone was quarried, and then roughly shaped into a tool blank with blows from a hammerstone. The edges were then sharpened and refined by grinding the tool against a coarse, gritty rock.


The necessary tools and equipment for hunting, fishing and warfare were one of the very few items that Aboriginals carried with them from place to place. Most were used for a multiplicity of purposes. Because many were made from raw natural materials, such as wood, generally only partial remains are found today. This item is an example of a stone tool used by the early Indigenous people of Eastern australia.

Physical description

A handmade stone Aboriginal axe head.