Re: Acheulean Hand Ax

Susan S. Chin (
Wed, 25 Dec 1996 04:26:19 GMT

Don Staples ( wrote:
: I am looking for references or commentary on the use of the hand ax. I
: have been musing over one for several months and have come to the
: conclusion that it is a gathering tool first, weapon second. More a hoe
: than an ax.

I can't find the exact reference right now, but in Desmond Clark's Old
World Prehistory course, we called them "bifaces" rather than "handaxes"
since the term hand axe implies that it was used as a hand tool and that
it served the function of an axe. As you noted, these bifaces could have
been used for other functions. Calling it a handaxe limits the range of


: I have used sinle and multiple facet stone tools on animal and vegetable
: material, and foundthe hand ax limited on animal tissue. Possibly used
: on green bone, but edges not up to continued hard usage on hard material.

: Open to thoughts or conversation.