Acheulean flint biface from 200,000 years BP, found in Madrid (Spain). The natural external cortex or rind of the tool stone, which is due to erosion and the physical-chemical alterations of weathering, is different from the stone's interior. This was seen at sites in Europe, Africa and Asia. The resulting artefact is usually easily recognizable given its size and irregular edges, as the removed flakes leave pronounced percussion bulbs and compression rings. [In Europe s]mall bifaces are found from the late Acheulean until the Aurignacian. Biface hand axe and bifacial lithic items are distinguished. 2010). Correcting the asymmetry by removing material from the other faces, encouraged a more pointed (oval) form factor. Generally, only the most striking pieces are considered, mainly 19th or early 20th century collections. Some hand axes have terminal ends that are rounded or polygonal (i.e.  At the time the use of such items was not understood. Picardie, Numero Special, 1–2, 1988, 105–113. Suplemento, (San Sebastián 1994).  The supply of materials was the most important factor in the manufacturing process as Palaeolithic artisans were able to adapt their methods to available materials, obtaining adequate results from even the most difficult raw materials. Many authors refer only to exceptional pieces. Lithic typology is not a reliable chronological reference and was abandoned as a dating system. Soc. This hammer can be … Their adaptability makes them effective in a variety of tasks, from heavy duty such as digging in soil, felling trees or breaking bones to delicate such as cutting ligaments, slicing meat or perforating a variety of materials. Baker suggested that the hand axe was not itself a tool, but a core from which flakes had been removed and used as tools (flake core theory). Préhist.  The expression Faustkeil is used in German; it can be literally translated as hand axe, although in a stricter sense it means "fist wedge". They are used in some rural areas as an amulet to protect against storms. The chain is highly flexible, as a toolmaker may focus narrowly on just one of the sequence's links or equally on each link. Rev. Most hand axes have a sharp border all around, No academic consensus describes their use. Française 77/2, 1980, 45–49. It is therefore not useful as an indicator of chronology (in order for it to be considered as a marker it has to be accompanied by other complementary and independent archaeological data). Some hand axes were used with force that left clearly visible marks. Then, a flake was retouched onto the dorsal face on both edges, and it was given an appropriate shape (Fig. One example comes from the El Basalito site in Salamanca, where excavation uncovered fragments of a hand axe with marks at the tip that appeared to be the result of the action of a wedge, which would have subjected the object to high levels of torsion that broke the tip. The most common were proposed by Bordes:51 and Balout:. The earliest Acheulean sites in Europe appear around 0.5 mya. Manufacturing a hand axe from a flake is actually easier than from a pebble. Equally the artisan may concentrate the most effort in the manufacture so that the quality or suitability of the raw material is less important. Hand axes made from flakes first appeared at the start of the Acheulean period and became more common with time.  Bifacially carved cutting tools, similar to hand axes, were used to clear scrub vegetation throughout the Neolithic and Chalcolithic periods. They can be considered to be simple hand axes. These are dated to about 2.6 mya.. The position of the heel can describe using a, For Jacques Tixier the reworking sometimes has the objective of sharpening the edge so he uses the term, Examples of sites where they have been found include such European sites as, "Account of Flint Weapons Discovered at Hoxne in Suffolk", Diccionario de uso para descripción de objetos líticos, "Neandertal fire-making technology inferred from microwear analysis", "Skull Fossil Challenges Out-of-Africa Theory", "Early human occupation of Western Europe: Paleomagnetic dates for two palaeolithic sites in Spain", Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, "Matuyama-age lithic tools from the Sima del Elefante site, Atapuerca (northern Spain)", "Stone Artifacts Found from the Gonglou Site in Baise Basin, Guangxi, China", Hand Axes in China? Le couche Moustérienne du gisement du Moustier ( Dordogne ): typologie techniques. 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