In the Buff: Stone Age tools may have derived luster from diamond | Science News

ADVERTISEMENT

REAL SCIENCE. REAL NEWS.

Help us keep you informed.

Support Science News.


News

In the Buff: Stone Age tools may have derived luster from diamond

By
11:38am, February 16, 2005

Ancient Chinese people may have used diamonds to polish their stone axes to mirrorlike finishes, according to a new analysis. Other than pushing back by several thousand years the date for the first known use of diamonds, the findings also suggest that Neolithic Chinese societies were more technologically advanced than previous studies had shown.

Some sections of the ax surfaces are almost as smooth as some silicon wafers used to make computer chips, says Peter Lu, a physicist at Harvard University. "Somehow, Stone Age people . . . were able to make something smooth enough that you could pattern a circuit on it," he says. In an attempt to discover how the polishing was done, Lu obtained four ceremonial burial axes from the tombs of two Neolithic

This article is only available to Science News subscribers. Already a subscriber? Log in now. Or subscribe today for full access.

Get Science News headlines by e-mail.

More from Science News

From the Nature Index Paid Content