A Published Egyptian flint Homo Erectus Hand Axe from the Thebaid, Late Paleolithic to Mesolithic Period, ca. 30,000 - 15,000 BCE
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Skillfully worked petaloid flint hand axe of classic drop form, bifacially knapped with pressure flaked, sharpened edges.
The Paleolithic Period was the earliest period of human activity in Egypt. Paleolithic settlements usually formed close to either a water source (the Nile or an oasis) or a source of useful raw materials. featured mobile buildings and tool-making industry Until about 6,000 years ago these people led a nomadic lifestyle, moving from one place to another during the year in search of food. These were groups of hunters, fishers, and plant collectors who did not build permanent homes or settlements but lived mainly in the open landscape. As neither pottery nor metals had been invented, they made tools from stone and other organic materials such as wood. Wooden tools are rarely preserved, but many stone tools have been found which reveal much about human life during Palaeolithic times.
Published: De Rustafjaell, R. (1914). The stone age in Egypt: a record of recently discovered implements and products of handicrafts of the archaic Nilotic races inhabiting the Thebaid. New York: W.E. Rudge. p.44 #215
Exhibited: The Heckscher Museum of Art, Long Island, New York, 1913-2012.
Cf. Pitt Rivers, L. F. 1882, ‘On the Discovery of Chert Implements in Stratified Gravel in the Nile Valley Near Thebes’, Journal of the Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland, 11, 382–400.
Seligman, C.G. ‘The Older Paleolithic Age in Egypt’, Journal Royal Anthropological Society of Great Britain and Ireland, 1921, 51, 115–153.
Dimensions: Height: 4 3/8 inches (11.13 cm)
Condition: completely knapped with pressure-flaked edges and rich brown desert patina. Signs of use, the axe is intact and in very good condition overall. Presented on a museum-quality custom mount.
Robert de Rustafjaell (1876-1943), UK, acquired prior to 1909. Collection #215.
Catalogue of the Remaining Part of the Valuable Collection of Egyptian Antiquities formed by Robert de Rustafjaell, Esq.; Sotheby, Wilkinson & Hodge, London, 20-24 January 1913, lot 708 (part).
Gustave Maurice Heckscher (1884 – 1967), acquired from the above.
The Heckscher Museum of Art, Long Island, New York, deaccessioned in 2012.
Robert de Rustafjaell (1876-1943) was a British collector and author who worked in Egypt as a geologist and mining engineer. After World War I, de Rustafjaell moved to the United States, where he lived under the name Col. Prince Roman Orbeliani.