Not only is this ENORMOUS hand axe in supreme original condition, it shows incredible flaking and form with natural surface geologic formations that seemed to be purposely incorporated into the design by its primitive human maker. The workmanship and aesthetics on this specimen likely made this a prehistoric prestige piece to its proud ancient owner. It is as rare as they get and seldom will you find examples of this size, condition and form, ever available for sale. The photos somehow, came out far less impressive than the piece is in person. There is an amazing natural wind gloss over the entire surface that accentuates the layered texture in the stone that was raised by millennia of erosion from desert exposure.
Made and used by Homo ergaster (African Homo erectus), this hand axe was surface-collected from an exposed Acheulian site in the Northern Sahara Desert of North Africa and acquired from an old private French collection. This Lower Paleolithic artifact 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.
With its massive size and weight, as well as its form, this is a classic Acheulian PICK HAND AXE possesses and unusually wide upper body that adds weight to stone axe that a normal design would have lacked. It was ideally suited for smashing and piercing the major limb bones of large hunted prey in prehistory. Its extreme weight and narrow, pointed tip made such a task possible. Aside from its functionality, this is one of the most beautiful and finest made Lower Paleolithic African hand axes we have ever sold. It demonstrates the skill and ability of Early Man as a tool maker, to the highest order. Hand axes of this magnitude are theorized to be PRESTIGE PIECES. It certainly warrants being labeled "museum grade". It features every possible aspect of a prize specimen. The flaking is superb and shows masterful craftsmanship from its primitive human creator. The broad grip shows a natural darker layer of the quartzite stone used to make this hand axe. The aesthetic is something that must be seen and held to appreciate! This broad grip also had practical function as it cushioned the blows to the hand when this axe was used in large game butchering tasks.
GENUINE Acheulian hand axes of this quality are rare and recent realized prices at major auction houses are proving what we have been saying for years that authentic high grade tools of primitive man remain one of the most promising investments.
This is an investment-grade Paleolithic artifact. Specimens like this are one in many, many thousands and are exceptionally rare. Collectors consider prized features to include either size, workmanship or color but when ALL exist, then it is truly an important piece to include in a collection as this one is. The vast majority of quartzite tools from this culture and geographical region are made of a homogeneous color quartzite.
An anecdotal feature of this axe is the shape - it is exactly shaped like the African continent from which it came. Coincidence yes, but a really cool one!