This GENUINE Acheulean 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 Northwest Africa. Acheulean Lower Paleolithic hand axes from Africa represent the first scientifically documented intelligent tool made by primitive humans. Prior to these Saharan Acheulean handaxes, only crude pebble and flake tools existed in the human fossil record.
Made of quartzite, this is classified as a Lower Paleolithic Acheulean UNIFACIAL POINTED hand axe. Delicate in form, this hand axe would have been ideal for piercing bones of hunted game animals to access the prized marrow inside. The proximal end has been flaked flat for a comfortable grip against the palm. The unusually delicate tip has survived intact and complete as originally made - very rare! Overall flaking is superb and shows masterful craftsmanship from its primitive human artisan. Original sediment and mineral encrustations are still present in microscopic crevices. These features are a testament to the age and authenticity of ALL Saharan Paleolithic artifacts.
The entire hand axe is patinated with an incredible dark gloss "desert varnish" patina from resting exposed for millennia in the open desert. "Desert Varnish" is a term for the glossy surface feature of some Saharan desert Paleolithic stone artifacts caused by the wind-driven sand that polished and deposited microscopic layers of silica on the surfaces of the artifact over time, giving it a sheen.
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.