Artifact 2

Bone Awls

“Awls and perforators were probably invented in Africa and carried to colder climates, where they were used to pierce holes in clothing.”

Image Credit: Chip Clark, Smithsonian Institution

Bone Awls

Exhibit Item at Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Date of discovery: 1991

Discovered by: Christopher Henshilwood

Site: Blombos Cave, Republic of South Africa

Contemporary Technology: Awl

There are various types of awls today. Each has a different metal point for the different things needing holes/scratching. Though the appearance is different from the bone awls, with the contemporary having a handle and the poker being made of metal due to the discovery of metallurgy, the purpose of the awl remains largely the same, simply updated for the needs of today.