A small Lower Palaeolithic pointed handaxe from Warsash, Hampshire

A small Lower Palaeolithic pointed handaxe from Warsash, Hampshire

Code: 2820


Description: A small mottled brown flint Acheulian pointed handaxe with some ancient edge chips towards the point, the implement rolled with smoothing of the flake scars and with a waxy patina, otherwise condition good. A possible side notch fashioned on one edge (a feature noted in some Warsash handaxes), from Warsash, Hampshire.

Size: 80 mm/3.1 ins. in length

Culture: Lower Palaeolithic

Date: c. 250,000-350,000 years B.P.

Provenance: Ex F.S. Clark Collection, Woking, Surrey.

Background: Fred Sydney Clark (1923-2016) ran the Old Curiosity Shoppe, The Quadrant, Onslow Street, Guildford, Surrey, in the 1970’s-1980’s selling a range of collectables. A passionate collector and field-walker, he built up a fine collection of antiquities, notable for British prehistoric items, a significant number of which he obtained through trade with Dr. H.A. Fawcett. Like Fawcett, he was meticulous in documenting his collection, even the most humble tools were catalogued and fully labelled with locality, accession number and his characteristic monogram.

Notes: Extensive quarrying of Pleistocene fluvial gravels at Warsash, a village in southern Hampshire situated on the eastern flank of Southampton Water, south-east of Southampton, have yielded hundreds of handaxes, which provide important evidence for the diversity of handaxe technology towards the later stages of the Lower Palaeolithic. The Lower Palaeolithic assemblages recovered at Warsash and their geological context are discussed by Davis et al. (2016).

Reference: Davis, R. J., Hatch, M., Ashton, N., Hosfield, R. and Lewis, S. G. (2016) The Palaeolithic record of Warsash, Hampshire, UK: implications for late Lower and early Middle Palaeolithic occupation history of Southern Britain. Proceedings of the Geologists' Association, 127 (5), 558-574. (available here).