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AUSTRALIA

July/August 2021

JA21 ATW AustraliaAUSTRALIA: The boomerang may be Australia’s most recognizable cultural artifact. After being hurled, the crescent-shaped hardwood objects will, hypothetically, return to the thrower. While Aboriginal communities have been using boomerangs for hunting and fighting for millennia, new research indicates they had other purposes as well. Microscopic analysis of wear patterns on more than 100 boomerangs from sites across the continent suggests they were frequently used to shape stone tools. They could also have been used for making fire or playing music, or as digging implements.

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