RARE EARLY PROTO-HAND
AXE EUROPEAN OLDOWAN CHOPPER TOOL
River Terraces of Haute-Garonne, Southwest France
LOWER PALEOLITHIC PERIOD:
600,000 - 400,000 years ago
Of all the rare
primitive human stone tools we could offer, pebble tools from the first
humans to occupy Europe are perhaps the most rare. Unlike the
Oldowan Gorge in Africa where pebble tools abound and in many cases lay
clearly exposed, European sites are VERY
rare and scattered since the pebble tool technology had already been
superseded by the proliferation of Acheulian bifacial handaxes roughly
three quarters of a million years earlier! Oddly enough, these two
traditions were brought into Europe by Homo erectus moving north up from
Africa. Both traditions existed for a limited time together at the
beginning of human existence in Europe with pebble tool technology
eventually giving way to more advanced traditions of core and flake
no artifact could be more important or impressive to collectors of
European descent than one which had been fashioned and dates back to the
VERY FIRST humans of Europe! This
magnificent pebble chopper tool was fashioned by Homo erectus in the
Oldowan and Early Acheulian tradition over half a million years ago!
tool was made from a quartzite river cobble and was found where a primitive
settlement of these early humans once lived on the terraces of
Haute-Garonne in Southwest France. The site's age has been
absolutely determined through extensive stratigraphic studies of these
terraces that once were inhabited by the first humans to migrate into
Europe from Africa.
This is a VERY rare example of a proto-hand axe. It clearly shows
more extensive flaking and working than most other specimens we have
seen from this site. It is bifacially worked and looks like a
crude Acheulian hand axe in early developmental stages but it was
finished and used in the manner that you see it is made.
Most impressive - this Oldowan chopper is an example of rare forward
thinking of the primitive human (Homo heidelbergensis) who made
this hand axe.
This is a
proto-handaxe with features that would later be developed into the
Acheulian Tradition. The maker of
this handaxe had incredible foresight to impart features that were
technologically AHEAD OF THEIR TIME for this era!
This pebble axe is an exceptionally rare and well-formed example.
Unlike typical Oldowan pebble choppers that have a crude transverse
chopping edge, you can see this specimen comes to a blunt point.
Secondary baton-hammering is evident on both sides with one side still
retaining a portion of the original smooth rounded cobblestone surface.
Almost resembling a bifacial Acheulian axe, this
tool displays a dawning idea and a milestone development that was to
come in the future. This axe could be held in either
hand based on its clever design. Close-up image
shows old mineral deposits on surface - a characteristic valued by
authenticators. Feel, form and function of this tool is superb.
MODERN DAMAGE, NO REPAIR and NO RESTORATION.
As found and with our highest recommendation.
PERFECT TO DISPLAY BETWEEN CLASSIC OLDOWAN PEBBLE CHOPPERS AND LATER
PERIOD ACHEULIAN HAND AXES AS THIS SPECIMEN SHOWS THE LINK!
Occasionally these "tools" can be found for sale on the
internet and at shows. The majority are nothing more than damaged ancient river cobbles
caused by environmental action (glacial disturbance, frost damage,
etc.) as well as plow damage since these are found in farm land. Every broken cobblestone found on the Haute-Garonne
terraces is NOT a human-created Paleolithic tool! The
determination of what is manmade and what is an ordinary broken river
rock requires a very high level of understanding Paleolithic tool
manufacture and technique as well as the experience to be able to
differentiate the two and authenticate a genuine stone tool from this
culture. If in doubt, consult a scientific expert.
first hominids in Europe migrated north from Africa some time after
700,000 years ago. Some sites in France, Czechoslovakia and
Yugoslavia suggest that this might have occurred even earlier but
evidence is not conclusive. Evidence for existence after 700,000
years is definite with many sites being dated from 700,000 to 400,000
years ago. These first humans were Homo erectus.
of these sites were located alongside rivers or lakes where stone tools
are found alongside debris and bones of large mammals. The tools
of this time were very primitive having been fashioned by striking river
cobbles to produce a crude chopping tool. Sometimes, the flakes
were used to make scrapers and points. Human fossils and
coprolites have also been discovered at sites in Southern France.
The coprolites were found to contain pollen which was used to further
provide evidence of an exact date of the sites. The primary source
of food was the meat of big game hunted in the region.
early technology of pebble tools coexisted up to 400,000 years ago in
Europe with biface axes of the Acheulian tradition. The more
advanced bifaces were flaked all over and created a much more portable
and defined tool. It is still not fully understood why such a
primitive tool technology such as the Oldowan tradition was brought into
Europe for the Acheulian bifacial tools proliferated Africa well before
the migration of humans northward.
one can doubt the importance that pebble tools hold in the history of
human development. Their very emergence in Africa nearly two
million years ago allowed the earliest humans to butcher animals for
their meat - the needed nourishment that allowed humans to survive and
flourish to one day populate and rule the earth.
OLDOWAN PROTO-HAND AXE SHOWS TRAITS OF A LATER PERIOD IN CONCEPT
EXTENSIVE FLAKING WORK
SHOWS ITS MAKER WAS ALREADY AHEAD OF THEIR TIME!
in length x
Item - One Only