This genuine Saharan Acheulean hand axe was made and used by early humans of the species Homo ergaster (African Homo erectus). It was surface-collected from an exposed Acheulean site in the Sahara Desert of Northwest Africa. This Lower Paleolithic artifact represents the first intelligent tool design type known to science, that was made by primitive humans. Prior to these Saharan Acheulean hand axes, only crude pebble choppers and flake tools existed in the human fossil record.
Made on a KOMBEWA FLAKE, this CLEAVER hand axe is an exceptional example of the Lower Paleolithic Kombewa Method whereby a large round flake with double convex sides is utilized. The form and workmanship on this specimen is as perfect as it gets, and was made to a reduced size. Could this have been made for a child or woman user?
Kombewa flake cleavers are rare and found in much less numbers than any other type of hand axe of the Acheulean Tradition in the northern Sahara deposits. THIS IS THE THIRD TIME WE HAVE OFFERED A KOMBEWA FLAKE HAND AXE. This cleaver features a broad and well-made profile and chopping edge. Most ingenious and as proof of the intellect of Homo ergaster (the Sahara version of Homo erectus), this hand axe has been specifically flaked on the proximal end to be held in the left hand, with the thumb resting in a flaked depression, for a secure grip. Holding an axe in the left hand does not mean the user was left-handed. It allowed a right-handed person to grab and pull flesh, hide and fat from the butchered carcass while the left hand chops it away using an axe such as this cleaver example.
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. It was 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. There are also original sediment and mineral encrustations still present in microscopic crevices of the axe surface. 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 of central and north Africa 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.