Palaeolithic Acheulian hand axe

Hand axe (Colchester)

A hand axe was type of multipurpose tool common during the Palaeolithic.

These tools were shaped on both sides and fit comfortably into a human hand. The example show here is a a Palaeolithic Acheulian hand axe, dating from between 500,000 to 40,000 BC and found in a gravel pit in Marks Tey in 1929.

COLEM : 1929.207


Why is Marks Tey important?


In the last Ice Age, most of Britain was covered by an ice sheet. The area that is now Marks Tey lay at the easternmost edge of the ice sheet. This was the edge of the liveable world for both humans and animals.

The Ice Age made living in Britain very difficult because of the extreme cold. As the area around Marks Tey was not entirely covered in ice, animals and hunter-gather communities made use of the land, especially around water sources. As there were more people living and hunting in this area, many Palaeolithic tools have been found in and around the village.

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