This GENUINE hand axe was made and used by early humans of the primitive species Homo erectus (ergaster). It was surface-collected from an exposed Lower Paleolithic Acheulian site in the Sahara Desert of North Africa. This Lower Paleolithic tool represents the first scientifically documented intelligent design made by primitive humans. Prior to these Saharan Acheulian handaxes, only crude pebble and flake tools existed in the human fossil record.
This is a spectacular, complete BIFACIAL hand axe made out of quartzite. Tens of thousands of years to desert wind exposure eroded the surface to leave the harder seams in the stone, raised like ridges, giving an immensely aesthetic appearance. A fascinating "human-trace" on this specimen is the area where they thumb would fall on the grip has been polished smooth from the extensive use this axe must have been employed in. The pointed but chisel-shaped end would have been ideal for puncturing bones of large 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.
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.
During this time in prehistory when this Lower Paleolithic tool was made, the Sahara Desert (where this stone tool was found) was a savanna rich in wildlife. Prior to the prehistoric global warming that turned the vast region to desert, early humans lived alongside prehistoric giraffe, bison and elephant, which were vital to their survival. Hunting and butchering these animals would have required specialized tools such as those FIRST found in the Acheulean Period.