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Author Topic: The oldest hand-axes in Europe  (Read 2783 times)
aggsbach
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« on: September 03, 2009, 04:45:10 AM »

The autors report dates for two western Mediterranean hand-axe sites that are nearly twice the age of the supposed earliest Acheulian in western Europe. Palaeomagnetic analysis of these two sites in southeastern Spain found reverse polarity magnetozones, showing that hand-axes were already in Europe as early as 0.9 Myr ago. This expanded antiquity for European hand-axe culture supports a wide geographic distribution of Palaeolithic bifacial technology outside of Africa during the Early Pleistocene.
The publication can be found here: http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v461/n7260/full/nature08214.html
One of these handaxes is attached to this message



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Bill
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« Reply #1 on: December 25, 2009, 11:31:26 AM »

For those who may have missed it, it might be of interest to review Tony Baker's proposed conceptual revision of what handaxes were.

His shorter account, http://www.ele.net/acheulean/boxgrove/bg_handaxe.htm
is a summary of the longer and more detailed http://www.ele.net/acheulean/handaxe.htm

In brief, "handaxes" are more likely to have been flake cores, expediently used as tools, rather than intended primarily as tools in and of themselves.
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