This is a RARE and fantastic artifact of prehistoric human thought evolution. It is from the European Lower Paleolithic Period and of the late Oldowan tool technology where chopper axes were made on simplistic round river cobbles with crudely struck chisel edges. Showing a "dawning new design", this hand axe displays a trait that would dominate hand axes for the hundreds of thousands of years to come - A POINTED TIP! The axe has been made on a quartzite river cobble but it has been struck on opposing sides to form a tapered pointed chopping end. Such an axe would have been ideal for puncturing large bones of the prehistoric megafauna of the day, to get to the prized bone marrow. Bone marrow was the most nourishing food of this era and bones of mammoth, bison, rhino and horse, for example, were smashed to extract it. A tool like this would have been ideal for the task.
A perfect artifact to demonstrate evolving prehistoric human thought and design, this is a rare transitional Paleolithic tool. Traits only seen in authentic Paleolithic stone tools are present on this example such as a lack of any modern crushing, and sediment / patina deep in microscopic crevices. Tip is unbroken and intact as originally made. Extensive flaking on the sides is evident, to achieve this narrow tapering point.
The Oldowan pebble tool tradition, named after the Oldowan Gorge in Kenya, East Africa where tools were first described, represent stone tools from the earliest primitive humans. By the time early humans made their way into Europe, PEBBLE TOOL technology had already been superseded by the proliferation of Acheulian bifacial handaxes roughly three quarters of a million years later in Africa! These stone tool manufacturing traditions were brought into Europe by Homo erectus moving north up from Africa. Both Pebble and Acheulian traditions existed for a limited time together at the beginning of human existence in Europe with pebble tool technology eventually giving way to more advanced traditions of core and flake tools.
WARNING: There are a host of these "tools" for sale on Ebay and other websites providing less information and understanding of Lower Paleolithic specimens. Many of these sources offer nothing more than damaged ancient river cobbles caused by environmental action (glacial disturbance, frost damage, etc.) or modern made fakes. Every broken cobblestone found is NOT a human-created Paleolithic tool! The determination of what is manmade and what is an ordinary broken river rock requires a very high level of understanding Paleolithic tool manufacture and technique as well as the experience to be able to differentiate the two and authenticate a genuine stone tool from this culture. Know your source and only deal with well-informed sellers who can help you understand the difference.