A major milestone in human evolution and spanning over the past 2.6 million years, stone tools cover the vast majority of the history of the technological developments achieved by the genus Homo. They present the earliest form of material culture, offering important evidence about the life of our ancestors. Stone tools are normally classified into industries, with the dominant lithic technologies transitioning from Mode 1 to 5 in an approximate chronological order. The Acheulean industry (Mode 2), named after the site of St. Acheul on the Somme River in France, constituted a significant revolution in stone age technology, testifying the result of a planned manufacturing process, rather than a fortuitous operation as in the case of the earlier Oldowan tools (Mode 1). Acheulean tools are the product of Homo erectus and were intended for a multipurpose use, from butchering animals to cutting wood and digging in soil. They have one of the largest areas of distribution among stone tools, with the earliest examples being from Africa and dated 1.76 million years old. It was not until much later that this industry appeared in Europe – with the earliest examples dated to 800.000 years ago -, as the result of H. erectus’ migration out of Africa.
Acheulean Flint Knife
An Acheulean knife skilfully crafted from flint. The original stone was modelled into a knife, featuring a rhomboidal shape with a sharp, crescent shape cutting edge and a flat side for handling the flint. The deliberately detached sections on the body and edges reveal the natural light brown striations of the stone. The old collection number and site of finding are written in black ink on the surface. As revealed from the note, this particular tool was recovered at the British site of Twydall.
Period: Lower Paleolithic.
Provenance: From the ex J. Edwin Jarvis collection, 1970s.
Condition: Excellent condition. Old collection number written in black ink onto the surface.