Biface round axe in the Middle Stone Age style of the Jordanian Desert. At the time I was doing amateur surveys for possible surface artifacts, the people who had produced the stone age tools were nick-named the Jordanian Neanderthals, because they produced their tools using much the same techniques as the Mousterian period in Europe. The Jordanian Middle Stone Age technology lasted from about 80,000 to about 12,000 B.C. The archaeologists at the American Center for Oriental Research in Amman, Jordan estimated the age at circa 50,000 years old.

This biface lay exposed to desert sun and sandstorms for millennia. It has a patina called desert sheen as a result. It feels polished, as indeed it is, all from natural forces.

First, many thousands of years ago, it was left at the side of a stream where its owner, probably also its maker, had settled for a while with his clan. When we came across the site, the area was covered with beautifully worked bifaces, flakes, blades, burins, rarely points and chert cores from which the tools had been knapped. The tools were easily distinguished from the surrounding stones, because they showed a variety of colors that the local stone did not show. Chert (flint) and a rosy dense quartz or chalcedony were favored as tool material by this particular clan.

In fact, it is probable that many different clans stopped by the stream (wadi) to stay for a few or many seasons, perhaps even generations, and then moved on. But at least one clan that occupied the wadi for a while liked the rosy quartz in addition to the usual chert for making their tools.

The long exposure to the desert's sanding action took its toll on the worked edges of the tool. When it was left at the side of the stream, the worked edges had probably already become dull, but the action of the blowing sand further dulled the formerly sharp edges.

The label of WDC that you see marked on the hand axe is my identifying mark for cataloguing the article.

Measurements: 3.5 inches x 3.25 inches; approx 8 cm x 9 cm

Please contact me with questions. Stone Age Biface Hand Axe of Jordan with Desert Sheen | craftsofthepast - Antiques on ArtFire