Treasure of the British Museum: Stone Age Handaxe

Stone Age Handaxe  , about 550,000 years old  Found on beach north-east Norfolk, England it is Britain’s oldest human-made artefact.  Like thousands of other flint tools, the axe was made by chipping off parts of a large flint pebble to make sharp edges, but leaving a blunt end to hold. It could then have been used like a knife for a range of purposes, such as cutting up an animal carcass perhaps to cut up an animal.  Experts currently date it to between 550,000 and 700,000 years old, which since archaeologists previously thought that the first Europeans arrived in this part of the world 500,000 years ago, pushes the date way back.  © Trustees of the British Museum

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