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by Archaeology Newsroom

Hand-axes: Their Incorporation into the Evolution of Human Knowledge, their Form Technology, and the Greek Data

The hand-axes represent one of the most important technological achievements of humanity and attest the conquest of a higher stage in the evolution of human intellect, when the concept of symmetry is realized. The earlier hand-axes date from the Lower Paleolithic, they continue to be made until an advanced phase of the Middle Paleolithic, but they stop to be produced about 50,000 years ago. They represent the “characteristic fossil” of the Acheulean civilization and signal, through their evolution, its various chronological periods. According to the research data available so far, although the earlier Greek hand-axes do not seem to be older than 300,000 years, however the existence of this civilization in Greece is not questioned. Artifacts of similar technology are the bifacial Mousterian wedges, which probably represent the development of the hand-axes, and the arrow heads of the recent Prehistory, which attest the reinvention of the old method many thousands years later. The experimental reproduction of the hand-axes technology and OF the bifacial artifacts in general does not present special difficulties. However, the choice of the appropriate shape of the original stone core (blank), from which the tool is made, plays a very important role for the quality of the finished artifact.