Earliest handaxe in Britain

A bigger picture

Though not the earliest stone tools, handaxes were made for over a million years, first in Africa from around 1.6 million years ago, and then all over the world as early humans journeyed out from Africa. Here is a selection from different periods.

Olduvai handaxe


Found: Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania in east Africa.

Date: 1.1-1.2 million years old

See more See more: http://www.britishmuseum.org/explore/highlights/highlight_objects/pe/s/olduvai_handaxe.aspx

Quartz handaxe from Olduvai Gorge


Found: Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania in east Africa.

Date: 800,000 years ago

See more See more: http://www.britishmuseum.org/explore/highlights/highlight_objects/pe/s/stone_handaxe_800,000_bc.aspx

Boxgrove handaxe


Found: Boxgrove, West Sussex, England.

Date: 500,000 years old

See more See more: http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/collection_online/collection_object_details.aspx?objectId=3521037&partId=1&place=39356|39356&object=22300&view=list&page=1

Hoxne handaxe


Found: Hoxne in Suffolk, England.

Date: 400,000 years old

See more See more: http://www.britishmuseum.org/explore/highlights/highlight_objects/pe_prb/h/hoxne_handaxe.aspx

Gray's Inn Road handaxe


Found: London in 1679 with the bones of what looked like an elephant.

Date: 350,000 years old

See more See more: http://www.britishmuseum.org/explore/highlights/highlight_objects/pe_prb/p/pointed_flint_handaxe.aspx

Dorset sub-triangular handaxe


Found: Strouden, Dorset, England.

Date: 50,000 years old

See more See more: http://www.britishmuseum.org/explore/highlights/highlight_objects/pe_prb/s/sub-triangular_handaxe.aspx
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Earliest handaxe in Britain