Treating peanut allergy bit by bit
Springing forward
Getting the dirt on carbon
Salamanders and Newts
Frogs and Toads
Eyes on the Depths
Tool Use Comes Naturally to Crows
New Monkey Business
The nerve of one animal
Calculating crime
Video Game Violence
Blue Jays
Chemistry and Materials
The Incredible Shrunken Kids
Picture the Smell
The solar system's biggest junkyard
Earth from the inside out
A Classroom of the Mind
Seen on the Science Fair Scene
Dinosaurs and Fossils
An Ancient Spider's Web
Message in a dinosaur's teeth
Mini T. rex
E Learning Jamaica
Results of GSAT are in schools this week
E Learning in Jamaica WIN PRIZES and try our Fun Animated Games
2014 GSAT Results for Jamaican Kids
What is groundwater
Recipe for a Hurricane
Science loses out when ice caps melt
A Change in Leaf Color
Nanosponges Soak Up Pollutants
Acid Snails
Finding the Past
A Big Discovery about Little People
A Human Migration Fueled by Dung?
A Volcano's Deadly Ash
Cleaning Up Fish Farms
Pygmy Sharks
A Grim Future for Some Killer Whales
Food and Nutrition
Food for Life
Healing Honey
In Search of the Perfect French Fry
GSAT English Rules
Whoever vs. Whomever
Subject and Verb Agreement
Capitalization Rules
GSAT Exam Preparation Jamaica
Preparing for the GSAT Exam
GSAT Scholarship
The Annual GSAT Scholarships
GSAT Exams Jamaica Scholarships
42,000 students will sit for the GSAT Exam in two weeks
GSAT Practice Papers | GSAT Mathematics | Maths
GSAT Exam Preparation
GSAT Mathematics
Secrets of an Ancient Computer
It's a Math World for Animals
42,000 students will sit for the GSAT Exam in two weeks
Human Body
A Long Trek to Asia
Nature's Medicines
Sun Screen
Giant Clam
Cocker Spaniels
Weasels and Kin
What Not to Say to Emerging Readers
Expert report highlights the importance to parents of reading to children!
Choosing a Preschool: What to Consider
Strange Universe: The Stuff of Darkness
Project Music
The Pressure of Scuba Diving
Flower family knows its roots
Pumping Up Poison Ivy
Assembling the Tree of Life
Space and Astronomy
A Puffy Planetary Puzzle
Holes in Martian moon mystery
Pluto's New Moons
Technology and Engineering
Crime Lab
Algae Motors
Sugar Power for Cell Phones
The Parts of Speech
What is a Preposition?
What is a Verb?
Adjectives and Adverbs
Robots on a Rocky Road
Robots on the Road, Again
Charged cars that would charge
Antarctica warms, which threatens penguins
A Change in Climate
Weekend Weather Really Is Different
Add your Article

A Diamond Polish for Ancient Tools

Everyone knows that diamonds are special. Besides their glamorous beauty and special meaning, they’re also the hardest minerals on Earth.

A new study suggests that even people in ancient China appreciated the wonders of diamonds. Some 6,000 years ago, people in China may have used diamonds to polish their stone axes. That pushes back by several thousand years the date for the first known use of diamonds.

To reach this conclusion, Peter Lu, a physicist at Harvard University, studied four ceremonial burial axes that were found in two tombs in southern China. The axes dated back to between 4000 and 2500 B.C.

Lu used special microscopes and other high-tech equipment to figure out that the axes were mainly made up of three minerals. The most abundant mineral was a type of aluminum oxide known as corundum. Rubies and sapphires are colored forms of corundum.

Finding corundum was a surprise because it’s the second hardest mineral on Earth. Because diamond is the only mineral that’s harder than corundum, Lu proposed that the ancient Chinese must have used diamond to shape and polish their axes.

To test this theory, Lu used a diamond saw to slice one of the burial axes. Then, he tried polishing the new surface with three materials: diamond, corundum, and quartz. Only diamond produced a surface that was as smooth as the original.

The new research also suggests that people in Stone Age China could have used diamond to polish jade and shape it into various objects. These ancient people may have been much more technologically savvy than experts had ever suspected.—E. Sohn

A Diamond Polish for Ancient Tools
A Diamond Polish for Ancient Tools

Designed and Powered by™