In 32 years of working with prehistoric stone, this is the FIRST time we have seen an African Paleolithic hand axe of such small dimension! It is a Mousterian example but made in the Acheulian Tradition (MAT or MTA TYPE). What is puzzling is that it is so small to be practical yet, looks like a tiny, miniaturized version of the hand axes made at least a half a million years earlier than the Middle Paleolithic. What was its purpose then? Art? Barter? Prehistoric boredom of the tool maker? It is a stunning and highly unusual example in perfect, original condition. Known from Europe, hand axes of the MOUSTERIAN IN ACHEULIAN TRADITION (MTA or MAT), show traits of the earlier Acheulian Period such as a faceted palm grip on the proximal end, and more primitive flaking techniques, but in reduced size that matches the typical size of other Mousterian examples found in North Africa. What is impressive is that this piece is so small, it makes one question its true, prehistoric purpose!
The workmanship is spectacular of this extraordinary hand axe considering quartzite is extremely difficult to flake and shape on a hand axe this small!!! Unlike their much larger predecessors of the Sahara during the Acheulian, Mousterian handaxes are much smaller in comparison.