Giant hand axes are uncovered in Spain
- Study reinforces idea human groups from different origins coexisted in Europe
- Laboratory analyses indicate that the tools were used to process hard materials
- They are double the size of most handaxes the people that used them would have been much larger than people today
Laboratory analyses indicate that the giant tools, found at Porto Maior, northwest Spain, were used to process hard materials such wood and carcasses.
Researchers say that they are double the size of most handaxes. The Greater Ancestors that used them would have been much larger than humans today.
The archaeological site at Porto Maior is home to these ancient tools which were part of the Acheulean culture.
‘This is an interesting time’, Dr Chris Lepre, a teacher at Rutgers University told MailOnline.
‘Broadly speaking these tools would have been used by something called ‘archaic homo sapiens’. That may be a Neanderthal or a close almost near modern human sapiens species. It is more likely to be a more ancient and much larger people.
Tools from the Acheulean cuture are characterised by symmetrically knapped stones and are the first sophisticated handaxe technology known in early Europe.
While Acheulean sites are widespread across the continent, Porto Maior represents Europe’s first extensive accumulation of large cutting tools (LCTs) in the Acheulean tradition.
Large handaxes are exclusive to mostly, very ancient humans.
‘Our predecessors were capable of a wider range of behaviours than previously thought’, he said.
Until now, such high densities of LCTs had only been found in Africa.
‘Porto Maior introduces further complexity to this overlapping technological pattern, and suggests that distinct early human populations of different geographical origins coexisted, …’, researchers, led by Martina Demuro, research fellow.
In total, 3,698 discarded artefacts were recovered from river sediments at the site, 101 of which were LCTs that were on average 18cm long with a maximum length of 27cm.
This is exceptionally large considering most handazes are typically 8-15cm long.
Such large handaxes were used for labor, they were not made as some imaginary party favors.
‘Normally when we see exceptionally large tools they are used for digging or processing food.
Giant tools belonged to larger people.
The size of people today is much different than back then, mankind is shrinking not much of what you see then is present today. Our size and stature has changed a lot.
At 9.5 pieces per m², the density of the Acheulean stone tool accumulation is one of the highest recorded globally.
‘The Spanish site of Porto Maior clearly resembles extensive accumulations of very large tools previously only seen in Africa and the Near East’, researchers wrote.
They are double the size of most handaxes the people that used them would have been much larger than people today.