01 October 2013

Acheulean handaxe cortex likely deliberately retained for visual significance

Acheulean handaxe, 15cm, Saint Meme Les Carrieres, Charente, France

With a well-documented phenomena of some peoples of Acheulean tradition in Western Europe making "decorated handaxes" which incorporate human and sometimes animal forms, along with fossils and other novelty inclusions being "centered" in the visual composition of the handaxe form.

It seems possible the large white cortex which was retained above, along with the two smaller circles above it, which resemble a mouth and two eyes, may have been an intentional animation of the object with human-like features.

The maker of this artifact could have removed the white piece of cortex, or rind of the flint piece, but chose to leave it in place along with the other three segments on the opposite side.

-kbj

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