The Middle Paleolithic Aterian tool tradition of North Africa is famous for the introduction of the FIRST tanged arrowheads in the timeline of human stone tool development by the invention of the Aterian tanged point. The Aterian tradition also includes a variety of other flake tools besides tanged points, many displaying tangs which was another milestone in human tool technology - the concept of attaching a flake tool to a handle (hafting). Aterian tools were believed to be made by Archaic humans at a time when Neanderthals were thriving in Europe. They have been found on exposed sites in the Northwest Sahara Desert.
This is a unique Aterian DISCOIDAL SCRAPER made of tabular flint. This robust scraper was flaked in a centripetal manner leaving a small patch of the original raw cortex aesthetically remaining in the center. The vast majority of Aterian tools seen on the market are tanged points because of their ease in recognition when searching in the field. Because of this, most do not realize that the Aterian Tool Tradition includes a variety of other types. Most impressive are the discoidal round scrapers despite their rarity. In the last two plus decades of extensive travel and collecting, we have only been able to collect a handful, making this offering a rare chance to add one to your collection! Flaked into a disk, this scraper would have been useful from any angle considering the entire circumference was a working, cutting edge - an ingenious design! It is complete with superb preservation and the finest workmanship. Made on a robust flake, this flake scraper would have been ideally suited to shaving organic substances such as wood, bone or ivory, as well as scraping animal hides of fat and meat.
The Levallois technique is a name given by archaeologists to a distinctive type of stone knapping developed around 250,000 to 300,000 years ago during the Middle Paleolithic period. It is part of the Mousterian stone tool industry used by the Neanderthals in Europe, and by modern humans in other regions such as the Levant. In North Africa, the Levallois technique was used in the Middle Stone Age, most notably in the Aterian industry to produce very small projectile points.
Coming from our personal private Aterian tool collection that we had built over 22 years of extensive international travel, this is one of a very few of THE BEST OF THE BEST we are starting to offer. Over the years, we had been setting aside the absolute finest examples of Aterian tools that we opted to keep aside. Today, you just do not find specimens like this and we enjoyed the collection but now, it is now time to let someone else be their proud steward. This collection fills just one large Riker box display flat so once they are gone, these will be gone forever. Don't miss this fantastic opportunity to add some of the finest Aterian Middle Stone Age tools of Africa you will ever see on the market!
The Aterian is a Middle Stone Age (or Middle Paleolithic) stone tool industry centered in the Tamazgha, but also possibly found in Oman and the Thar Desert. The earliest Aterian dates to c. 145,000 years ago, at the site of Ifri n'Ammar in Morocco however, most of the early dates cluster around the beginning of the Last Interglacial, around 130,000 years ago, when the environment of North Africa began to ameliorate. The Aterian disappeared around 30,000 years ago and it is currently not thought to have influenced subsequent archaeological cultures in the region.
The Aterian is primarily distinguished through the presence of tanged tools and is named after the type site of Bir el Ater, south of Annaba. Bifacially-worked, leaf-shaped tools are also a common artifact type in Aterian assemblages, and so are scrapers as well as Levallois flakes and cores. Items of personal adornment (pierced and ochred Nassarius shell beads) are known from at least one Aterian site, with an age of 82,000 years. The Aterian is one of the oldest examples of regional technological diversification, evidencing significant differentiation to older stone tool industries in the area, frequently described as Mousterian.
Usually, Aterian tanged points display very crude geometry with many barely resembling the arrowhead form that would later follow with refinement. A number of other flake tools with tangs, are found in the Aterian tradition that were scrapers hafted to wood, bone or ivory handles. The Aterian Tool Tradition is the first obvious evidence of a flake tool specifically designed for hafting. The Aterian Tradition also includes non-tanged flake tools but the tanged point is the most notable and a profound development from other Levallois flake tools of the period.