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Stone Age Glue

Stone Age humans knowingly tweaked the chemical and physical properties of an iron-containing pigment known as red ochre with the gum of acacia trees to create a “super-glue” for their shafted tools.

The results showed that glue containing red ochre was less brittle and more shatterproof than glue made from acacia gum alone.

“We discovered that when we used ochre, the glue is much more robust, and the stone tool doesn’t come off the shaft,” said study team member Lyn Wadley of the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa.

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