A Quina Handaxe from Saint- Maixent – l‘ École (Charente)

This is a handaxe like artifact (Figure 1 and 2) from a homogenous assemblage (Figure 3) of Quina Mousterian tools from Saint- Maixent – l‘ École (Charente). Bifacial tools (usually scrapers) are always present in small quantities in Quina-ensembles. Bifacial Quina scrapers and MTA bifaces offer a similar functional status. They are durable, curated and often reshaped artifacts that were moved over the landscape by mobile hunters / gatherers during harsh environments (OIS4). Both classes of tools are characterized by their multifunctionality. On the other hand, their function differ, because Quina scrapers were sometimes used as cores, which was not the case in MTA-bifaces.

“Handaxes” in Quina context usually show a crude,- “chopping tool like-“and more  globular shape. They are quite different both from Quina scrapers and the elegant MTA handaxes: Their functional status has rarely been investigated but according to recent observations they served most probably as cores.

The complex use-life of Middle Paleolithic tools

MTA in the Charente

Mousterian from the Château de la Roche-Courbon site

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About Katzman

During my whole life I was fascinated by stone age artefacts. Not only the aesthetic qualities of these findings, but also the stories around them and the considerations arising from their discovery, are a part of my blog. Comments and contributions are allways welcome! About me: J.L. Katzman (Pseudonym). Born in Vienna. Left Austria in 1974 and did not regret. Studied Medicine and Prehistory at a German University. Member of a Medical Department at a German University. Copyright 2010-2017 by JLK. All Rights Reserved. You are welcome to use material in these posts so long as you cite the work.
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2 Responses to A Quina Handaxe from Saint- Maixent – l‘ École (Charente)

  1. Sean says:

    I just pulled a biface hand axe from a central Florida lake shore
    that looks very much like the image I see here.
    Having read Across Atlantic Ice, it appears there
    could very well be a link.

  2. Katzman says:

    It has to be a convergent invention- Paleoindian bifaces are 40 k.a. later than Quina scrapers in Europe….

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