|Figure 1. On the left: a hand-soap axe. On the right: dorsal view of a bar of Dial glycerin soap, identical with the one from which the axe was fashioned.|
|Figure 2. On the left: a hand-soap axe. On the right left lateral view of the same bar of soap illustrated in Figure 1.|
These items were measured in the field using the only appurtenance available at the time: a Stanley No. 26 1/2 boxwood folding caliper rule (pictured below). It's an oldy. And it's only calibrated in 16ths, so these are very approximate numbers. We'll be able to get a better handle on the morphology when we're out of the field.
|Stanley No. 36 1/2 boxwood folding calipers.|
And look at the length of the product--the axe itself. The artisan who made this was ever-so-careful to avoid reducing the proximal and distal mass so as not to end up with a useless lump of soap. This is indeed an artifact that represents a high level of cognitive ability, and anyone who says 'Nay' is likely to be a closet bigot or someone who doesn't know their glycerine soap from sandpaper!
As yet we've been unable to computer-model adequately how, with judicious application of plain old water, and simply by rolling it in his hands to create a lather, the human who made this was able to fashion such a gorgeous object. I'd go so far as to say that this example is SO perfect that it may even have been a ceremonial object, or money, or something like that!
PLoS one here we come!
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