Stone age superglue!

Stone age superglue!

From National Geographic:

Ancient people in what is now South Africa whipped up a glue of powdered red ochre and acacia-tree gum to keep their tools (above, a replicated tool with adhesive made by scientists) intact, a May 2009 study says.

Stone Age Superglue Found — Hints at Unknown Smarts?

6 thoughts on “Stone age superglue!

  1. Sean Michael Ragan says:

    I’m gonna make some of this and see how well it works. It would be pretty incredible if you can make a glue that would work well enough to bind axeheads to handles by mixing just two natural materials.

  2. Lawrence says:

    It could well have been coincidence that some gum from an Acacia tree (giraffes love these leaves) was dripping onto the soil beneath (containing red ochre) mixed with some stones lying around and became stuck together over time. Some lucky ancient hunter was wandering along, saw the mix and went: “Mmmm … that’s interesting!” What’s the point of harvesting gums from various trees and trying out with different soil mixes. Better be out hunting, instead.

  3. Sean Michael Ragan says:

    The process used by these scientists is described in great detail here:

    Be warned, it’s a 160 page .pdf, but if you’re interested in this it’s got all the detail you need.

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Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. His free weekly-ish maker tips newsletter can be found at

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