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RARE COLORFUL LARGE 5 INCH NEANDERTHAL MOUSTERIAN FLINT HANDAXE FROM FRANCE WITH UNIQUE NATURAL GRIP

Compiegne, France

MIDDLE PALEOLITHIC PERIOD (MOUSTERIAN):  80,000 - 40,000 years ago

This rare handaxe was fashioned out of flint by Neanderthals over 40,000 years ago and originally discovered in France.  The site this specimen was excavated from is now closed and protected by the government.  France is considered by many to be the capitol of prehistoric human history in Europe.  Fine quality and aesthetic Lower and Middle Paleolithic handaxes from France have become insanely desired by European collectors since the ban on digging in 1986.  France is most famous for its Neanderthal sites, as well as history, and Mousterian handaxes of size and beauty such as this example have become exceedingly rare and desirable! 

This is a CHOICE GRADE example of an MOUSTERIAN HANDAXE from France.  The color and workmanship are incredible to say the least!  An added bonus is an ingeniously designed palm and thumb rest grip that was oriented out of an original exterior portion of the flint nodule this handaxe was made from by its intelligent Neanderthal creator.  This can be seen in the photos above but the feature must be held in person to truly appreciate its "magic" when felt.  This handaxe demonstrates true master craftsmanship with a perfectly ergonomic grip design and a pronounced thumb rest as seen above.  Excellent overall bifacial workmanship and form.  The color of the flint is simply amazing - a mosaic blend of brown, olive green, cream and gold!  All edges are superbly made and flaked faces shows stunning beauty.   A few later period chips are present but but nothing that is an unsightly detraction.  Perfect French handaxes are practically impossible to find and now fetch amazing prices starting at several thousand euros and go up from there.  Perfect specimens with this color and size can run into unbelievable prices when located.  This is THE nicest and most colorful, AS WELL AS LARGEST Neanderthal handaxe we have or ever will offer for sale.   A well-formed tip is present and thin body profile make for a sharp chopping tool.  Soil sheen is beautiful, natural and a testament to tens of thousands of years of burial.  The form and execution of this extraordinary handaxe is absolutely the finest one could ask for.  Unlike their much larger predecessors of the Sahara during the Acheulian, Mousterian handaxes are much smaller in comparison but this example is a very large exception!  Not only are Mousterian handaxes considered some of the rarest and most prized tools of the Neanderthals, this exquisite representation could easily have also been a Neanderthal PRESTIGE TOOL with this kind of workmanship, size an color.  Overall workmanship clearly indicates a HIGHLY SKILLED Neanderthal craftsperson fashioned this superb and truly MUSEUM GRADE specimen.  This specimen is the finest shaped specimen we could offer and is the quintessential example of the high level of Neanderthal workmanship in a stone flaked tool!  NO RESTORATION AND NO REPAIR.

The Levallois Technique is a method of flake tool manufacture that was first employed in the Acheulian Era about 250,000 years ago by archaic Homo sapiens but perfected in the Middle Paleolithic Era by Neanderthals.  It consists of starting with a core of stone and using heavy percussion hammering on one side to remove large flakes in a radial fashion, creating a "turtle-back" profile on one side of the core.  A single heavy blow at one end of the core struck the flake off and the end result was a prepared flake (a la Levallois) with a convex shape on one side (from initial flake removal when still attached to the core) and a flat side on the other (from the side split off the remaining core).  Edges of this struck flake were then retouched to create the desired cutting edge but the geometry of the two sides remained.  It was the Levallois method employed by Neanderthals to manufacture a variety of early tools including the first points that were hafted to wooden poles for use as spears.   

The MOUSTERIAN tool tradition gets its name from artifacts discovered at a primitive rock shelter named Le Moustier located in southwestern France.  Compared to the bulkier tools of the Acheulian produced by the Levallois technique, Mousterian tools are comprised of smaller flakes from an exhaustively worked core which are then retouched on the edges to make a large variety of tools.  These tools are not only smaller than Acheulian specimens, but they are more specialized for their various tasks.  Mousterian tools can be broadly put into four classes: 1) SAWS (Denticulate Tools) and KNIVES,  2) SCRAPERS  3) BORERS  4) HANDAXES, CHOPPERS and CLEAVERS.

Mousterian tool-makers were the primitive humans knows as the NEANDERTHALS.  Neanderthals had massive skeletons and teeth, flat foreheads and heavy brow ridges.  Their skulls were larger than a modern man and contained an average brain capacity of 1500 cc, averaging slightly larger than humans of today. 

RARE WORKMANSHIP / QUALITY - COLORFUL MASTERPIECE! - MADE WITH A PERFECTLY ERGONOMIC GRIP AND THUMB REST

5" in length

SOLD     M228     Actual Item - One Only

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1795