Archaeological Museum of Bologna

Museo Civico Archeologico
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Collections / Sections / Bologna in prehistory

The oldest human tools

Around one million years ago, the Bologna territory – covered by seas until then – began to evolve, acquiring an increasingly continental appearance. Traces of the first groups of Homo Erectus in the territory behind the ancient coastline go back to about 800,000 years ago. The main deposits are in the Savena and Idice river valleys and have yielded implements made with the rudimentary technique of chipping siliceous stones: they are known as “pebble industries”.

More info

Characteristics of the tools produced from these ancient human groups allow us to date the presence of Homo Antecessor in the Bologna area in a period ranging from 800,000 to 500,000 years before present.  Flint pebbles were used (collected along the banks of rivers), from which splinters were removed, without any preparatory proceedings. The technique used is probably that of direct percussion, with a hammerstone, to chip away flakes on the stone, creating very basic tools, but with a very sharp edge.

Provenance: Peverella, loc. Varignana, Castel San Pietro Terme (Bologna) Fantini Collection
Datation: 800.000 - 500.000 years ago
Material: Flint
Dimensions: cm 4,8 x 9,8 x 7,2
Inventory #: 5855

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Exhibition rooms | Room I - Prehistoric section