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RARE WHITE QUARTZ CAPSIAN AFRICAN NEOLITHIC SERRATED ARROWHEAD

Exposed Saharan Site - Northwest Africa

NORTHWEST AFRICAN NEOLITHIC PERIOD (CAPSIAN):  8,500 - 6,500 years ago

This CAPSIAN TRADITION arrowhead was found on an exposed African Neolithic site in the Sahara Desert in Northwest Africa.  It was masterfully fashioned by African Neolithic humans (Homo sapiens sapiens) between 8,500 and 6,500 years ago.  This projectile point stands out for its premium features, condition and type when compared to other more common flint artifacts of inferior workmanship and preservation that are typically offered on the market.

This is a super rare small dart arrowhead that has been expertly fashioned out of rock quartz during the Capsian Period thousands of years ago.  This material is very difficult to control in flaking and represents one of the most challenging material to utilize.  When used though, the cutting edges can be deadly sharp but finding well-made examples are rare.  Even the discovery of any arrowheads in quartz are rare!  This amazingly well-made specimen is intact and superbly symmetrical showing a very high level of workmanship.  Wonderfully translucent as shown above.  This quartz projectile is completely bifacially worked.  Light serration detail is present which some theorize such a feature indicates intention for this weapon to be used on humans.  The quality of work done on such a small scale seen in these weapons give proof to a very skilled and advanced society long before any of the Classic ancient cultures of Egypt, Greece and Rome came to be.  NO RESTORATION, NO REPAIR and NO MODERN DAMAGE.  

It is likely that these small arrowheads served as weapons against other humans.  From a slightly earlier time period (ORANIAN TRADITION) a late Pleistocene graveyard was discovered at Jebel Sahaba, north of Wadi Halfa in Sudanese Nubia.  These burials date from 14,000 to 12,000 years ago.  Many people were buried there that had fallen victim to violent deaths with the bodies having been killed by microlithic weapons and small arrowhead projectiles.  One man had 110 artifacts associated with his skeleton which had entered his body as stone barbs and points of projectiles.  Two of the projectiles were still embedded in his skull.  

In the final Pleistocene and early Holocene Periods around 10,000 years ago, the Sahara was believed to be a highly favorable environment for hunters, gatherers and pastoralists.  Freshwater lakes existed between the dunes in what is now the Tenere region, Lake Chad was eight times its current size, the highlands supported Mediterranean forest trees, and a large fauna of animals flourished.  The slow drying out process of the Sahara, began 7,000 years ago and ended 4500 years ago resulting in the barren conditions that exist to this day.  As we progress from the time from the end of the Pleistocene to the end of the Paleolithic Period, we see man relying more on meat from raised animals as opposed to hunted animals.  

The earliest blade industry in North Africa is classified as the ORANIAN or also known as the IBERO-MAURUSIAN TRADITION.  This tradition begins in the region around 12,000 years ago and is eventually superceded by another blade tradition called the CAPSIAN TRADITION.  The Capsian industry runs simultaneously with the Oranian beginning 11,000 years ago (9,000 years ago in the Northwest region).  This later tradition is responsible for the influence of the Oranian industry and eventually succeeds it as we near the end of the Paleolithic Period.  

Most notable during the era of these two traditions is the proliferation of various blades and bladelets ushering in MICROLITHIC technology.  Microliths are tiny flake blade tools and segments of blades that are used as they are or set in composite tools of wood or bone for use as barbs or to make saws.  

The blades and projectile points of the ORANIAN / CAPSIAN TRADITION represent some of the most delicately flaked and beautifully executed smaller stone tools of primitive man.  By this time, the flaking methods utilize small punches for extreme control in the removal of material and shape of the blade being made.  Some points were so perfectly executed that they were not used at all but  served as items of prestige by their owner and are sometimes found in association with burials.  These finest points and blades from this period rival any stone implement ever made by primitive man and were sometimes manufactured out of the most stunning gem-grade material such as fine translucent chalcedony and agate as well as transparent crystalline quartz.  By this late age of lithic tool manufacture, stone implements have undergone man's development by both trial-and-error and cognitive thinking spanning an overall time exceeding one million years.

VERY RARE TO SEE THIS KIND OF WORKMANSHIP IN THIS TOUGH TO WORK WITH MATERIAL!

1" in length

SOLD     CAP086     INCLUDES DISPLAY BOX     Actual Item - One Only

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