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Palaeolithic hand axes

Date made: 400000BC-300000BC

Maker / artist: unknown

Date collected: 1910

Collector: Captain North

Material: flint

Period: Palaeolithic

Accession number: F803

These prehistoric hand axes were found at Swanscombe in North Kent by Captain North in 1910. Chipped from flint, they were used by early humans in the Palaeolithic (or Old Stone Age) between 400,000 and 300,000 years ago. Hand axes were used to butcher animals, dig for edible roots, chop wood, remove tree bark and throw at prey. They are called hand axes, because they were held in the hand during chopping. Swanscombe is famous as a place where fossils of very early humans have been found.

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