Archaeologists struck by one of the longest ancient hand axes in history


A foot-long hand ax (or axe, as they are also called) from the Ice Age has been found among hundreds of finds at a prehistoric archaeological site in Kent, Sky News reports. For primitive people, the ax was the main universal tool that could be used in a variety of cases, replacing a knife, an ax, a pickaxe.

At an excavation site in the Medway Valley, archaeologists have unearthed objects in deep deposits believed to date from an ice age around 300,000 years ago.

Researchers from University College London have unearthed about 800 stone artifacts.

Among these artifacts were found two large flint knives, presumably a hacksaw, with serrations on both sides to give a symmetrical shape.

Experts believe that these tools were usually held in the hand and used to cut animals and meat into pieces.

Those that have been found at the excavation site have a characteristic shape, a long and finely worked tip and a thicker base.

Senior archaeologist Letty Ingri of the University of California Institute of Archeology said: “We describe these tools as ‘giant’ when they are over 22 cm long, and we have two of those sizes. The largest, whopping at 29.5 cm long, is one of the longest ever found in Britain.Giant hand axes like this one are commonly found in the Thames and Medway areas and dated to over 300,000 years ago.These hand axes are so large it’s hard to imagine how they could have been easy to hold and use.Perhaps they served a less practical or more symbolic function than other tools – a clear demonstration of power and skill.Although right now we are not sure why such large tools were created or what types of ancient man made them, this place The excavation offers us a chance to answer these exciting questions.”

The site is believed to date back to the early prehistoric era of Britain, when Neanderthals began to appear, perhaps along with other humanoid species, and was probably a wild landscape with wooded hills and river valleys.

Although archaeological finds of this age have been found in the Medway Valley before, this is the first time they have been found as part of a large-scale excavation, which provides an opportunity to get more information about the life of their creators, the Daily Mail notes.

Dr Matt Pope, UCLA Institute of Archeology, said the excavations “have provided us with an incredibly valuable opportunity to study how the Ice Age landscape evolved over a quarter of a million years ago”: “A scientific analysis program involving experts from the University of California and other UK institutions , will now help us understand why this site was important to ancient people and how stone artifacts, including giant hand axes, helped them adapt to Ice Age conditions.”

Researchers are now working to better understand who created these artifacts and what they were used for.

The team of archaeologists also unearthed a Roman cemetery at the site, which is probably about 250,000 years older than the Ice Age artifacts, with the remains of about 25 people unearthed, possibly from a nearby Roman villa.

Nine of the buried bodies were found with personal items such as bracelets, and four were found in wooden coffins.

The excavations were initiated in anticipation of the construction of the Maritime Academy school in Frindsbury, and the results were published in the journal Internet Archaeology.

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