During A Recent Excavation, A Team Of Archaeologists On The Indonesian Island Of Sulawesi Discovered Two Knives Made From Tiger Shark Teeth That Are 7,000 Years Old

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On the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, a team of archaeologists found two 7,000-year-old knives made from shark teeth during a recent excavation.

The island is the eleventh largest in the world and has a deep history that dates back to prehistoric times. It is also the place where the earliest known cave art was discovered.

The shark teeth are associated with Toalean culture. The Toalean people were hunters and gatherers who lived 8,000 years ago, although experts are unclear when their community ceased to exist. Toalean artifacts disappeared from the archaeological record around the fifth century A.D.

One of the teeth had two holes drilled through the root. That particular artifact was unearthed at a cave site called Leang Panninge.

The other tooth was fractured and contained one hole, but it most likely was originally covered with multiple holes. It was found in a cave known as Leang Bulu’ Sipong.

Both of the artifacts are similar in size and belonged to tiger sharks that were probably over six feet in length. Tiger sharks are named for their unique gray striping on the sides of their bodies. They inhabit tropical and temperate waters across the globe.

According to Oceana, a marine conservation organization, tiger sharks can reach lengths of up to eighteen feet and weigh 2,000 pounds. They are the second-largest predatory sharks in the world after great whites.

Upon further examination of the ancient tiger shark teeth, researchers learned that they had once been attached to a handle with plant-based threads and a sticky substance that acted like glue. The glue was created from a mixture of plant, animal, and mineral materials.

Modern shark-tooth blades are constructed with the same method by various civilizations in the Pacific region. The study suggests that the ancient shark-tooth blades may have been utilized in combat or for ritualistic purposes.

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