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Ice Age Axes: Hundreds of tools, including giant stone adzes, over three hundred thousand years old

In July 2023, archaeologists in Kent, England, unearthed a trove of over 800 stone tools, including two giant hand axes, dating back to the Middle Pleistocene era, around 300,000 years ago. The site, located on a hillside above the Medway Valley, is thought to have been a prime hunting ground for early humans, who would have used the tools to butcher and skin animals.

  • The two giant hand axes are particularly noteworthy. One of them, measuring nearly a foot long and weighing over three-and-a-half pounds, is the third-largest ever found in Britain. The other is slightly smaller, but still large enough to be difficult to wield. Archaeologists are not sure why these hand axes were so large, but they speculate that they may have been used for ceremonial or symbolic purposes, rather than for practical tasks.
  • The other tools found at the site include flaked flints, scrapers, and choppers. These tools would have been used for a variety of tasks, such as woodworking, hide processing, and digging. The presence of these tools suggests that early humans in this region were well-equipped to survive in their environment.
  • The discovery of these Ice Age axes is a significant find, as it provides new insights into the lives of early humans in Britain. The tools offer a glimpse into the technology and hunting practices of these early people, and they also raise questions about the purpose of the giant hand axes. The site is still under excavation, and it is likely that more discoveries will be made in the future.

Ice Age Axe (3)

Here are some additional details about the Ice Age axes:

  • The tools were made from flint, a type of stone that is found in abundance in the Medway Valley.
  • The hand axes were chipped on both sides to create a sharp edge.
  • The tools were probably hafted, meaning that they were attached to a wooden handle.
  • The hand axes were likely used for butchering meat, skinning animals, and digging.
  • The giant hand axes may have been used for ceremonial or symbolic purposes.

The discovery of these Ice Age axes is a fascinating glimpse into the lives of early humans in Britain. The tools offer new insights into their technology, hunting practices, and culture. The site is still under excavation, and it is likely that more discoveries will be made in the future.

 

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