Neanderthal Hand Axe Fragment
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The Neanderthal Hand Axe specimen in the Second Edition of the Mini Museum comes from the collection of a retired French postman. He spent decades traversing rural France, collecting and cataloging Mousterian stone tools. The tools have been validated by experts in the field, with estimated ages between 140,000 and 70,000 years old.
This material is incredibly durable and bone and stone proved to be the most effective tools for getting just the right sized pieces to further shape into Mini Museum specimens. As part of the specimen preparation process, we noticed that some larger fragments (approximately 3/4" or 25mm) would make excellent display pieces in their own right.
As shown, the Neanderthal Hand Axe Fragment ships in a small, glass-fronted riker box display case (3.25" x 4.25"). It includes a small card describing the specimen. Please note, that color, size, and shape of the fragments varies widely based on each individual stone used to create the Mini Museum.
About the Neanderthal Hand Axe Fragment
"One day, we may be able to understand why, of all the primates, modern humans spread to all corners of the world and reshaped, both intentionally and unintentionally, the environment on a global scale. I am convinced that parts of the answers to this question lies hidden in the ancient genomes we have sequenced." ~ Svante Pääbo, Director of Genetics the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology
Once thought to be nothing more than hair-covered brutes, our understanding of Neanderthals has changed much over the last 150 years.
The first recognized Neanderthal remains were discovered 1856, but claims that a specimen from an ancient human race had been found were immediately discounted. Just a few years later, the publication of Charles Darwin's Origin of the Species and the realization that earlier finds of similar remains had occurred in other countries, made it clear that our past was not what we had long thought it to be.
With each passing decade, more curious finds would emerge, changing our notions of human history in radical ways:
Stone tools discovered in a Neanderthal site above the French village of Le Moustier opened our eyes to an advanced, tool-making culture. Additional finds extended this culture across Europe and Central Asia, reaching back well over one hundred thousand years. Later, careful archeological studies would uncover complex social relationships, including care of the injured and burial rituals.
Perhaps the greatest advance in our understanding comes from the recent discovery that many of us have Neanderthal DNA embedded in our own modern genetic code. Neanderthals are not just a divergent species; they are part of us.
The specimen in the Mini Museum comes from the collection of a retired French postman. He spent decades traversing rural France, collecting and cataloging Mousterian stone tools. The tools have been validated by experts in the field, with estimated ages between 140,000 and 70,000 years old.