This is a small and heavily wind-worn FICRON BIFACIAL handaxe made out of quartzite. A ficron handaxe has an unusually narrow form with a body of long, concave sides leading to a sharp, piercing tip. The ficron design was intended for puncturing the major bones of hunted game animals to get to the prized marrow inside. At this period in prehistory, large animals such as prehistoric giraffe, bison and elephant would have existed in numbers in what is now, inhospitable desert. Butchering animals such as this would require specialized tools such as this rare example.
An interesting feature of this example is its HEAVILY WIND-WORN surface from laying exposed in the blowing desert sands for hundreds of thousands of years. It is complete as it was made and the flaking workmanship is still evident despite the eroded form. The sharp tip is original and as it was made hundreds of thousands of years ago. The surface shows a "desert varnish", a natural glossy surface caused by the exposure of the stone to the blowing sands over hundreds of thousands of years. Original sediment and some mineral encrustations are still present in microscopic crevices and cracks - a trait ONLY found in authentic Paleolithic artifacts like these. Tip and edges are intact with remarkable detail in the flaking on the edges. In "as found" ORIGINAL condition with NO REPAIR AND NO RESTORATION.
This quartzite handaxe was made and used by early humans of the primitive species Homo erectus (ergaster). It was surface-collected from an exposed Acheulian site in the Sahara Desert of North Africa. This Lower Paleolithic tool represents the first intelligent design type known to science that was made by primitive humans. Prior to these Saharan Acheulian handaxes, only crude pebble and flake tools existed in the human fossil record.