This artifact type is called an adze, which functions differently than an axe or celt. An adze tool is hafted in a perpendicular angle to the handle, instead of parallel as in a traditional axe. This creates a scooping motion with the arm that is good for woodworking without splintering out the grain. This motion is often needed when wood needs to be scooped out in objects such as bowls or dugout canoes/boats. This wonderful piece was found in a private collection, and was noticed first because it still has pitch on the blade. We are hoping to be able to test this pitch scientifically to determine age and composition. In the meantime it is being offered as a study cast for the public.
In 2015 this artifact was taken into the Smithsonian museum and compared to similar artifacts from the Northern Sahara. It matched well with other flint tools from Egypt. The front bit has a chip from find/excavation with show the true red color of the flint beneath the patination due to thousands of years. After discussing this piece with many collegues, it looks as if the tool was retired after the front bit became too steep with use. The artifact measures 14.2 cm long and 6 cm at the widest point. It serves as an excellent example of the tool types of the Neolithic Egyptian period, around 3 to 5,000 years ago. (cast copyright Occpaleo 2020)