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Stone Age
La Tene Time

Early history of the scythe

Sensenmuseum Geyerhammer
Scharnstein, Austria

Ever since man has been farming, they have tried to find tools that make harvesting grain easier. From ancient Egypt we already know pictorial representations of harvest scenes in burial chambers from the Early Stone Age, around 2500 BC. These pictures give information about how the harvesting was done and which devices were used. They mostly used sickles to cut off the gathered bundles of grain stalks. At about the same time relatively primitive tools were used for cutting the grain in Central Europe. This is shown by findings from pile dwellings in Switzerland. On a wooden handle a sharp-edged flint stone was wedged in, creating a kind of sickle. Due to the easier malleability of the material sickles were made that came very close to the shape of our present-day sickle.
In the younger pre-Roman Iron Age - the so-called La Tène Time – devices of daily use appeared between 450 BC and Christ's birth in large parts of Central Europe for the first time besides scythes and sickles.