Photo of the Month

Photo of the Month

 Olduvai Handaxe

From the British Museum, the Olduvai Handaxe. A stone tool found in Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania approximately 1.2 million years old. The handaxe was an essential tool and although it looks pretty straightforward, for more than a million years, it was the height of technology. Rather than simply a handy piece of rock that may have been used by other animals this tool is the the result of experience, of careful planning and of skill.

To create this required not only a great deal of manual dexterity but also a conceptual leap in the brain. The person making this woudl be able to imagine the shape that the stone would become, just as a sculptor can see the statue waiting inside a block of stone. This object represents the emergence of modern man.

Object number 3 in Neil MacGregor's "A history of the world in 100 objects".

Ricoh GR Digital IV (ISO 271, f1.9 1/30 sec)

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