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Possible Answers: HOOK.
Last seen on: New York Times Crossword 30 Jul 17, Sunday
Random information on the term “HOOK”:
A sickle, or bagging hook, is a hand-held agricultural tool designed with variously curved blades and typically used for harvesting, or reaping, grain crops or cutting succulent forage chiefly for feeding livestock, either freshly cut or dried as hay. Falx was a synonym but was later used to mean any of a number of tools that had a curved blade that was sharp on the inside edge such as a scythe.
Since the beginning of the Iron Age hundreds of region-specific variants of the sickle have evolved, initially of iron and later steel. This great diversity of sickle types across many cultures can be divided into smooth or serrated blades, both of which can be used for cutting either green grass or mature cereals using slightly different techniques. The serrated blade that originated in prehistoric sickles still dominates in the reaping of grain and is even found in modern grain-harvesting machines and in some kitchen knives.
The development of the sickle in Mesopotamia can be traced back to times that pre-date the Neolithic Era. Large quantities of sickle blades have been excavated in sites surrounding Israel that have been dated to the Epipaleolithic era (18000-8000 BC). Formal digs in Wadi Ziqlab, Jordan have unearthed various forms of early sickle blades. The artifacts recovered ranged from 10 to 20 cm in length and possessed a jagged edge. This intricate ‘tooth-like’ design showed a greater degree of design and manufacturing credence than most of the other artifacts that were discovered. Sickle blades found during this time were made of flint, straight and used in more of a sawing motion than with the more modern curved design. Flints from these sickles have been discovered near Mt. Carmel, which suggest the harvesting of grains from the area about 10,000 years ago.