NEOLITHIC SET OF TWO GROUND STONE AXES
Exposed Saharan Site -
AFRICAN NEOLITHIC PERIOD (CAPSIAN): 8,500 - 6,500 years ago
CAPSIAN TRADITION ground and polished stone axe was found on an exposed African Neolithic
site in the Sahara Desert in Northwest Africa. It was masterfully fashioned by man (Homo sapiens sapiens) between 8,500
and 6,500 years ago.
This is a set of two ground
stone axes from this period. The axes are of different designs but
the stone material used to make them is the same. These were
collected from the same site region. Interesting use wear is
evident on both.
The entire surface shows
extensive pecking and grinding to form the axes. Extreme patina
and mineral deposits from the desert exposure are evidence of their
extreme age. There are a nicks to the chopping end which are
RESTORATION and NO REPAIR.
type of axe is classic to the Neolithic Period all over the world in
every culture. Ground axes typify the "New Stone Age"
(Neolithic) and their appearance ushered in this period and a change in
axe design along with it. These completely ground axes are also
called 'celts'. They are much more effective in chopping wood
compared to flaked axes. Celts were either hafted to a wooden
handle or set into the handle, sometimes using an antler sheath as a
shock absorber as have been found in European sites. These axes
were completely formed by rubbing a rough stone blank on gritty
sandstone, using sand as an abrasive. The cutting edge and surface
was finished on finer grained stone for a smoother polish. Similar to the European
Neolithic ground and polished axes, the African Neolithic types were
completely ground to form. The cutting edge of the axes are also
similar to their European counterparts in that they are ground to form a
sturdy chopping edge and easily resharpened in the same manner.
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 end of the Pleistocene Period in North Africa, a blade industry
developed called the CAPSIAN TRADITION. The Capsian
industry runs simultaneously with the Oranian industry and began around
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 at the close of Paleolithic Period, ushering in the
Neolithic Age of stone tool manufacture in this region of Africa.
notable during the era of the Capsian tradition is the proliferation of
various blades and bladelets eventually leading to 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.
various tools of the CAPSIAN TRADITION
represent some of the most delicately flaked and beautifully executed
smaller stone tools of 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.
ATTRACTIVE SET OF TWO
DIFFERENT DESIGN NEOLITHIC AXES OF SIMILAR STONE MATERIAL - INTERESTING
are 3.2" and 2.65" long
INCLUDES DISPLAY BOX
Actual Item - One Only