This GENUINE bifacial quartzite 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.
As one of the most IMPRESSIVE and finest made Lower Paleolithic African hand axes OF THIS TYPE we have ever sold, this hand axe is a supreme example of a FICRON PICK. The ficron hand axe is characterized by its long, narrow and inward tapering body terminating in a delicate tip. In the last 20 years, this is the most delicate and exquisitely made example we have handled! The grip was kept in its original, bulbous shape with EXPERT flaking that yielded a long, unbroken thin lower body terminating to a thin tip. Hand axes of this type were designed to puncture bones to access the highly-prized marrow inside, the most nourishing protein source of the period. This hand axe demonstrates the skill and ability of Early Man to the highest order. It certainly warrants being considered "museum grade". It features every possible aspect of a prize specimen.
The flaking is superb and shows masterful craftsmanship from its primitive human artisan. Light blushes of orange on one side caused by millennia of this side facing down and absorbing the minerals of the Sahara red sands. Other side shows a different color - a prized and classic example only found in authentic specimens. The chopping tip and edges are intact and well-made with evidence of original prehistoric primary and secondary flaking.
Surface areas of this hand axe display a bi-colored patina on either side, as the exposed side patinated differently than the unexposed side from laying undisturbed in the desert, for millennia. Original sediment and mineral encrustations are still present in microscopic crevices and cracks - a trait ONLY found in authentic Paleolithic artifacts like these. These features are a testament to the age and authenticity of ALL Saharan Paleolithic artifacts.
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 found in the Acheulian Period.