After establishing permanent year round settlements, early Homo Sapiens developed agriculture as a means to sustain their new societies. From the Neolithic time period (8000-2000 BCE) until the present, agriculture has been one of the most important aspects in civilization. Some of the earliest known farming tools, called sickles, have been found in Mesopotamia (present day Iraq) and date back to 5000 BCE. These rudimentary tools were used through the 19th century, only to be replaced by the scythe and eventually, steam powered farming equipment.
Although the form of the sickle has changed throughout time, the function has not. Sickles were hand held farming tools used to cut hay and harvest grains such as wheat. In 19th century Texas, sickles and scythes consisted of a wooden handle connected to a sharpened crescent shaped piece of metal. The farmer would secure a bundle of grain in one hand, while swinging the blade toward the base of the crop with the other.
Did you know? Sickles made from animal horns, shoulder blades, and jaw bones have all been discovered in America...