The Testimony of Hands


42.23.294, Acheulean hand axe, flint or chert
1.65 million to 100,000 years ago
Old World (country of origin unknown
Frank Carney collection
Photograph by B. Bernard

Hand axes, like the one shown here, were a mainstay of human technology for more than a million years. As the name implies, they could be used to chop, but they were more like the Swiss Army Knife of their day. Besides, the stone flakes driven off during shaping of the hand axe tended to be quite sharp and could be used as tools themselves.

The second photo better shows the highly angled edge, as seen at the narrow end of the hand axe.

Photograph by B. Bernard

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