Acheulean Hand Axe


Acheulean Hand Axe
Type of object
Archaeological artifact
Red ironstone
Historical Item
Lower Paleolithic
Date Created
ca. one million years BP
Date Modified
ca. 999,000 years BP
Region and/or country
Kimberley, South Africa
Short Overview
Million-year-old stone handaxe that was reknapped, or "mended," during its original use period
Longer description
Archaeologists excavated this stone tool at the Wonderwerk Cave site in South Africa. Close study reveals two distinct series of “cuts,” or flake removals. It was initially shaped by a series of large, shallow removals around its tapered end and later reworked through a series of deeper removals that were added to create a more dramatic point. This is an example of conservation from the distant past: the later removals were presumably made when the edge had become blunt, possibly by a different individual from the one who first shaped it, in order to preserve its function as a tool. (Label copy from Conserving Active Matter, Bard Graduate Center Gallery, May - July 2022). Wonderwerk Cave is the oldest known cave occupation in the world, preserving an intact sequence of sediments that accumulated very gradually over a period stretching back almost two million years.
Is Part Of
McGregor Museum, Kimberley, South Africa
Item sets

This item was submitted on July 24, 2022 by [anonymous user] using the form “Application Form for Objects” on the site “Visible Mending”:

Click here to view the collected data.