A new lithic cast of a Hand Axe from Swanscombe Park, near Kent, England. This 4 1/2 inch long stone tool was found in the Barfield Gravel pit, where the famous find of a skull of Homo Heidelbergensis was found. Dating around 400,000 years old. Sent to Occpaleo by archaeologist Alan Slade, the original was made in a river cobble flint, with the cortex purposely left on the butt end. That butt end shows batter marks, which could indicate it was used as an indirect tool, or used as direct hammer percussor. Often called, "Pick types" today, the long narrow types of Hand axes perform well in digging motions in modern experiments.
Hand Axe tools are still steeped in mystery, and much debate still goes on about their function and importance in the Paleolithic. They show some of the first examples of symmetry in human art and tools, and have at least two functions as tools. Razor sharp flakes could be taken off the axe as portable core, and the core itself can be used to dig, chop, and abrade. (Cast copyright Occpaleo 2017)