26 • Two Acheulean Hand Axes

26 • Two Acheulean Hand Axes

France; 700,000 – 200,000 BC
19 & 11cm high; Flint

Homo Erectus (‘upright man’) was a species of archaic human credited with being the first to make hand axes out of stone, responsible for what has become known as the Acheulean (1.5million – 200,000 years ago) stone tool industry. It is no coincidence that they were also the first human ancestors to travel widely, distributing themselves across Africa, Europe and Asia. This single piece of equipment allowed them to gain far greater control over their environment; with better food and therefore nutrition, with animal skins for warmth and the ability to work wood for shelter and fire. These skills allowed them to survive beyond their immediate surroundings, and therefore the ‘luxury’ of travel.

As a pair, these axes are the perfect ‘his and hers’ Swiss Army Penknife for the aHuent and upwardly mobile Acheulean couple. What is particularly striking is how perfectly they fit into ones hand – the fingers fall into grooves for grip, signs of grateful and long-standing companionship.