Palaeolithic Handaxe

For BADA Week 2023, BADA Ancient art, numismatics and fossils specialists ArtAncient have chosen to feature this remarkable Lower Palaeolithic Handaxe.

The flint handaxe dates to the Lower Palaeolithic era or Early Stone Age, circa 700,000 - 300,000 BC. It represents the forefront of technology for the time, as the flint is fashioned into a symmetrical pear-shaped cutting tool. This was a major upgrade on its crude predecessor, the Oldowan, which was fashioned by cracking one stone with another to make a cutting edge.

The broad date range of the hand axe is through to reflect the rather limited cognitive ability of its user, Homo heidelbergensis, who seemed to make little technological progress for nearly 1 million years. Measuring 16 centimetres in length, the flint has a pleasing mottled cream- brown and vermiculé patina.

Rouen, Seine-Maritime, Northern France. 
Collection of François Bigot (1950–2009).