08 January 2014

African Acheulean beaked tool on a bird shaped stone is similar to U.S.A. finds

This stone has an appearance reminiscent of a perched bird. Such similarities would not have gone unnoticed among our ancestors. Acheulean, est. 600,000 to 100,000 BP. Sahara Desert, North Africa. This piece is 5.5" long, 3.25" wide, over 1.5" thick and weighs 20 ounces. 

The bird form with a natural beak inspired the toolmaker-artist to prepare the stone with a sharp edge on the beak, creating a graver, and remove additional stone likely to help accommodate the grip of a hand.

Flint Ridge, Ohio, bird sculpture is a tool with a yellow beak-graver and an excurvate knife at the crest of its head

Flint Ridge, Ohio, tool in the form of a bird figure

Bird form gravers: Oregon example at left, Ohio example at right

Licking County, Ohio: Interpreted by Ken Johnston as a coarse stone tool with a sharp edge fashioned as the head of a turkey vulture. The nostril accurately represents the one on the real bird.

Possible symbolism with these bird beak tools may recognize the bird's beak as the "tool" it uses to emerge from its egg.

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