Acheulean biface, Hand axe

Another interesting artifact that is found common around the world is the Acheulean biface (or hand axe). I had posted this in Quora

A very interesting object is the oldest surviving shaped tool used by man, the Acheulean biface (or hand axe). Dates for its use varies but generally spans from 2.6 million years ago to around 20,000 years ago, thus making it the longest used tool used by humans. It can be found in Africa, Europe, Asia, North America, South America, and Australia. So, it is also one of the most commonly used tools by ancient man.

It is a stone shaped with a pointed end and a round base. It varies in size and is typically 8 to 15 cm in length.


Even though it is the longest-used and a commonly used tool by ancient man, there is no consensus as to its purpose. Though it is typically called a hand axe, there is no agreement that it was used as an axe. It could’ve been used for throwing, digging, crushing, hammering, tearing, chopping, piercing, scraping, and cutting. Since there is no agreement for its use, it has been described as a Acheulean “Swiss Army knife”.

“Although everpresent in stone age culture, the exact purpose and use of this tool remains a mystery.”
http://world-history-education-resource … -hand.html

“There is a tool that has been around for over million years, that archaeologists keep finding in caves, ditches, wells, and prehistoric settlements. They’re older and more ubiquitous than wheels, than pottery, than pretty much anything else. They’re everywhere, but nobody can agree what they’re for.” … d-mystery/

“No academic consensus describes their use.” … er-Tseng-1