Talk:Hand axe

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Are items described as hand axes always bifacial? If so, this could do with a reference. Pol098 (talk) 23:05, 1 September 2011 (UTC)

Stone Age Swiss Army Knife[edit]

The classical hand axe design shows aspects of all four tooth types in primates. The rounded bottom reflect form and functions of incisors, the pointy tip that of canines. The sharp sides reflect our shearing bicuspid teeth, and the flat faces the molars. Four functions in one tool.

In nonhuman animals the teeth as a set form the most flexible tool set. I don't think our ancestors could have failed to have noticed this- and all of our more violent (male-oriented) basic external actions involve the same set of parameters.

If you go by stereotypical male vs. female behaviors, and extend them back to stone-age times, then giving the gift of a hand axe would be the equivalent of giving male powers to a female, if they were used in courtship.

I would imagine that the reverse also took place, with symbolic repesentations of female activities given to males, but since likely of more perishable materials they have not generally survived. Body coverings (sewn skins, woven textiles, etc.) and containers (soft part/vaginal analogues) come to mind.

Interesting point about the tooth analogue. I ve also noted the decline in Hominid tooth size with tool use, but not researched the literature, perhaps you wuold? . (However I tend to take issue with ascribing male/female roles. eg As both females and males possess teeth, surely this would not be a unique role?: Perhaps OT, and continue this on my talk page?) Jabberwoch (talk) 18:46, 9 November 2015 (UTC)

Should this really be the only Hand Axe article?[edit]

The term 'hand axe' is in common use to mean a small axe, typically one sized for single-handed use, like a hatchet. The term hand axe is used in this more general sense in several other Wikipedia articles, including Axe, so I feel that restricting this article to the archeological meaning is a mistake. A quick search for "hand axe" on Amazon or Google:Images will result in many hits outside the sphere of archeology, indeed you will see many modern hand axes.

My suggestion would be to append the title with a qualifier such as "(Archeology)" or "(Palaeolithic)" or to change the article name to the more accurate "Biface" with a link from a more general "Hand axe" article. (talk) 22:43, 31 January 2013 (UTC)

English usage errors[edit]

Ah, I see. Okay, the 'translation' explains everything. I was about to say, for instance that the double chevrons (eg "«Swiss Army knife»") are not standard English and should be changed. I don't doubt there may be other issues. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:19, 25 January 2014 (UTC)

Yes, the most jarring examples are in the Morphology section of "typological conventions to facilitate communication." The accompanying diagram is labeled with terms that do not appear in the text, even translated, and contains none of the terms that are in the text, except for the one it uses erroneously, "base". Unless "base" translates as "heel".-- (talk) 21:22, 12 July 2017 (UTC)

Inaccurate gif / image in "Base-rounding Index" section.[edit]

Apologies if this is the wrong place for a comment. I'm a newbie.

The animated gif associated with the "Base-rounding Index" section of this page appears to have an error. The red arrows are currently showing the ratio m/a (or a/m), rather than the L/a required by the text. The figures at the top of the gif show the correct threshold ratios as indicated in the text, but do not match those in the image itself.

The image shows a short red vertical arrow which correctly denotes "Distance from the base to the zone with the maximum width (a)". The red horizontal arrow denotes "Maximum width (m)", which is not used in this calculation, and should be erased. There should be a long red vertical arrow, running from the base to the top of the figure, to denote "Maximum length (L)".

Also, though I have no familiarity with the field in question, it appears as though the thresholds in the text are exactly backwards. Triangular bifaces should have a large L/a ratio, approaching infinity for a perfect triangle. Oval ones should have a small ratio, approaching the value of 2 for a perfectly symmetrical oval.

Sheldonhlynn (talk) 22:45, 3 May 2014 (UTC)

Biface vs Handaxe[edit]

While the article is very thorough and well composed, it has the issue that the term "biface" is often used in archaeology as a general catchall for any tool that has been flaked on both faces. Projectile points are therefore a type of biface, although the term is generally reserved (at least in North America) for tools that are less formalized than projectile points or drills, etc. This article really only addresses the use of this term referring to the handaxe tool used in paleolithic Europe. I suggest that a disambiguation page may be needed to reflect this diversity.

Digsdirt (talk) 16:16, 28 August 2014 (UTC)

And *presto* -- I added a DAB for hatchet, just a few dozen months later.  :) --A D Monroe III (talk) 17:28, 6 July 2017 (UTC)

Erroneous use of "Achelean" instead of "Acheulean"?[edit]

I wondered what the difference is between "Achelean" and "Acheulean". Searches indicate that the first is simply a spelling error, has no known meaning and is not a common alternative, but it appears on the page 31 times, including as image captions. "Acheulean" is documented at wikipedia. As a non-expert on either archeology or wikipedia, I hesitated to edit this myself, but if no-one corrects me or the text after a while I'll have a go. Peter Bogra (talk) 12:33, 8 November 2014 (UTC)

fixed, thanksJohnbod (talk) 16:13, 8 November 2014 (UTC)


The picture of the Winchester hand axe appears twice. Perhaps we can replace the second one with a different picture? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:26, 13 June 2016 (UTC)

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