A bird-shaped pestle. Stone, 6000-2000 BCE. Oro Province, Papua New Guinea.
Most modern vegetables and cereals were first cultivated around 10,000 years ago. This pestle was made for grinding taro, one of the crops farmers in Papua New Guinea started to cultivate at around this time. This pestle's unusual bird shape suggests it may have been a ritual or festive object.
This image was taken at the National Museum of Australia in the British Museums travelling exhibition A History of the World in 100 (and 1) Objects.