At nearly a foot long, this is one of the largest Acheulean hand axes we have ever sold in the last 23+ years. Most Acheulean hand axes are only as long as this one is wide!!! This rare and breath-taking specimen is one not to miss and the photos do not come close to the feeling one gets when holding this in hand.
Larger than practical hand axes are known coming out of Africa but their exact purpose is still somewhat of a mystery. A hand axe of this size would not be practical to use in daily tasks so why was it made so enormous? Some theorize these giant hand axes were meant as display of status, prestige or societal superiority. Some even theorize they were made to impress others in finding a mate. Since large game were hunted in this time, it is also possible that large animals that were mortally wounded in a hunt required some large weapon like this to complete the task. Certainly a hand axe of this size and weight would have been able to penetrate and dispatch the largest of beasts. The thin cross-section of the tip would have easily penetrated any size skull to deliver that final blow.
Made of layered sandstone and displaying incredible wind-worn detail, this ENORMOUS hand axe is complete as originally made. It shows excellent flaking with wear from desert exposure having worn all the crisp edges of the original flaking although this flaking is still visible. 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.
Made and used by Homo ergaster (African Homo erectus), it was surface-collected from an exposed Acheulean site in the Northwestern 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 Acheulean tools, only crude pebble tools existed in the human fossil record.
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.
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.