This specific tool is a rare and complete OLDOWAN PEBBLE TOOL CHOPPER. It was made from a quartzite river cobble and features a multi-struck chisel-shaped chopping edge. An additional beautiful feature is the red pigment in the rock creating an aesthetic pattern over the entire surface on both sides. Unlike modern pieces, the patina on the cutting edge is heavy and well-deposited. Special characteristics in the angle and type of struck cutting edge differentiate this authentic prehistoric tool from a simple broken stone made from glacial action or frost damage. This Lower Paleolithic chopper displays remarkably well-executed workmanship and control to have flaked the well-formed edges. For any Paleolithic tool collection, this is a must have specimen as an example like this shows features that are very difficult to find in today's market.
The Oldowan pebble tool tradition, named after the Oldowan Gorge in Kenya, East Africa where tools were first described, represent stone tools from the earliest primitive humans. By the time early humans made their way into Europe, PEBBLE TOOL technology had already been superseded by the proliferation of Acheulian bifacial handaxes roughly three quarters of a million years later in Africa! These stone tool manufacturing traditions were brought into Europe by Homo erectus moving north up from Africa. Both Pebble and Acheulian 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 tools.
WARNING: There are a host of these "tools" for sale on Ebay and other websites providing less information and understanding of Lower Paleolithic specimens. Many of these sources offer nothing more than damaged ancient river cobbles caused by environmental action (glacial disturbance, frost damage, etc.) or modern made fakes. Every broken cobblestone found 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. Know your source and only deal with well-informed sellers who can help you understand the difference.