"Axe Age" is dedicated to the Acheulian, a unique cultural phenomenon with the longest duration and the widest distribution in the history of humanity. The Acheulian lasted over 1 million years and is well known over three continents (Africa, Europe and Asia). This stone tool tradition is characterized by its hallmark bifacial tools, which include handaxes and cleavers. Though this prehistoric culture has been investigated extensively for over a century, countless questions have remained unanswered. Many of them are addressed in this volume. The volume, of interest to both scholars and students, presents original contributions that expand the scope of our understanding of this intriguing cultural entity. The contributions cover a vast geographic terrain and a large array of issues expressing hominin cognitive abilities and behavioral modes, such as landscape exploitation, production of bifacial tools and their classification, regional diversity, transmission of knowledge, transportation and discard patterns. Of the many authors, some are eminent scholars of worldwide reputation in Acheulian research, while others are young scholars reporting on their original research data. All of them contribute to gaining an improved understanding of the Acheulians and their culture.
Chapter 1: Introduction, Naama Goren-Inbar and Gonen Sharon Part 1: Obtaining the Raw Materials Chapter 2: Middle Pleistocene Landscape of Extraction: Quarry and Workshop Complexes in Northern Israel, Ran Barkai, Avi Gopher and Philip C. LaPorta Chapter 3: The Acheulian Quarry at Isampur, Lower Deccan, India, K. Paddayya and Richa Jhaldiyal and Michael D. Petraglia Chapter 4: Acheulian Quarries at Hornfels Outcrops in the Upper Karoo Region of South Africa, C. Garth Sampson Part 2: The Technology of Biface Knapping Chapter 5: Invisible Handaxes and Visible Acheulian Biface Technology at Gesher Benot Ya'aqov, Israel, Naama Goren-Inbar and Gonen Sharon Chapter 6: Bifaces from the Acheulean and Yabrudian Layers from Tabun Cave, Israel, Izak Gisis and Avraham Ronen Chapter 7: Preliminary Observations on the Acheulian Assemblages from Attirampakkam, Tamil Nadu, Shanti Pappu and Kumar Akhilesh Chapter 8: Victoria West: A Highly Standardized Prepared Core Technology, Gonen Sharon and Peter Beaumont Part 3: World Typology of Large Cutting Tools Chapter 9: The Elements of Design Form in Acheulean Bifaces: Modes, Modalities, Rules and Language, John A. J. Gowlett Chapter 10: The Handaxes of Revadim Quarry: Typo-technological Considerations and Aspects of Intra-Site Variability, Ofer Marder, Ianir Milevski and Zinovi Matskevich Chapter 11: Acheulo-Yabrudian Handaxes from Misliya Cave, Mount Carmel, Israel, Yossi Zaidner, Dotan Druck and Mina Weinstein-Evron Chapter 12: What Typology can Tell us about Acheulian Handaxe Production, Shannon P. McPherron Chapter 13: Bifacially Backed Knifes (Keilmesser) in the Central European Middle Palaeolithic, Olaf Joris Part 4: The Meaning of Cleavers Chapter 14: Some Thoughts about Acheulean Cleavers, Derek A. Roe Chapter 15: Cleavers in the Levantine Late Acheulian: the Case of Tabun Cave, Zinovi Matskevich Chapter 16: Cleavers and Handaxes with Transverse Cutting Edge in the Acheulian of the Caucasus, Vasily P. Lyubin and Elena V. Belyaeva Chapter 17: Axeing Cleavers: Reflections on Broad-tipped Large Cutting Tools in the British Earlier Palaeolithic, Mark J. White Part 5: Regional Perspectives Chapter 18: The Indian Acheulean in Global Perspective, Michael D. Petraglia Chapter 19: Acheulian Handaxes from the Upper Siwalik in Nepal, Gudrun Corvinus Chapter 20: TheAcheulian of Western Europe, Manuel Santonja and Paola Villa Chapter 21: The Known and Unknown about the Acheulian, Ofer Bar-Yosef