19 Pages


ByTony Russell

Wood is strong but flexible and easily worked, and is one of the most widely used natural products. Archaeological evidence for its use as fuel goes back at least 700,000 years, to the first use of fire by Homo erectus. Evidence for the use of wood in tools can be inferred from Neanderthal spear points, dating to about 160,000 years ago, which must have had wooden shafts. A wide range of wooden artifacts, including a paddle, and a wooden platform made of poplar, were found at the Mesolithic site of Star Carr, in northern England (ca. 7500 14C years BC). Wooden artifacts are common at waterlogged sites from this period onwards.