This RARE African Acheulean prehistoric stone flake tool is an ENORMOUS BIFACIAL KNIFE. It features intelligently flaked areas for a hand grip with flakes removed on both sides to accomplish an ergonomic design. It is one of the finest African examples we have ever handled! It was made and used by Homo ergaster (African Homo erectus), and is an uncommonly large example of the first use of a knife by primitive humans over a half a million years ago! It was surface-collected from an exposed Acheulean site in the Northern 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 tools, only crude pebble tools existed in the human fossil record.
Very seldom seen in private collections, a tool this type is rare from Africa with most Acheulean specimens collected being handaxes. Furthermore, it is a large KNIFE. It is a type of flake tool, fashioned by a large flake struck from an even larger tool core. Acheulean FLAKE TOOLS are much more rare in Africa then Acheulean HAND AXES. Photos show beautiful wind erosion and spectacular secondary flaking all down the cutting edges. The edges of this specimen exhibit excellent workmanship and are intact. Extensive flaking on the edges is evident as is the original striking platform on the proximal end. Acheulean knives from the Sahara are VERY RARE and often overlooked in field collecting and rarely seen in collections.
FLAKE TOOLS from the SAHARAN ACHEULIAN are much more rare then their Saharan Acheulian HAND AXE counterparts. While handaxes are rather obvious in design and easy to therefore, recognize when collecting on a site, smaller flake tools have less obvious features at first glance and easily blend in with surrounding scrap flakes and natural stones. The vast majority of private collections lack Acheulian Saharan flake tools in comparison to handaxes from the same period. Perfect for use in butchering the large game that thrived in Northern Africa during the days of Homo ergaster.
During this time in prehistory during the Lower Paleolithic, 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 Acheulean Tool Tradition.