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    Abstract

    Lower Palaeolithic ‘Cleavers’, Northern Nigeria. Mr. Henry Balfour in Man for February comments on the occurrence of the so-called cleaver of lower palaeolithic facies in Nigeria. The implement is of axe-like type, characterised mainly by having the cutting edge formed by the intersection of two large flake-scars, one on either side of the surface of the implement. The junction of the two scars along the lower margin affords a very sharp cutting edge which, however, does not stand prolonged hard usage. Until recent years, this type has received scant recognition, since it had been noted as an occasional occurrence only among Chelleo-Acheulean implements and was considered to be somewhat rare. In South Africa it must be accorded the status of a dominant type in view of its abundance and wide distribution south of the Zambezi. Its further dispersal in Africa is a matter of importance and its occurrence in northern Nigeria, where it had not previously been recorded, is to be noted. Well-defined examples are included in a collection of implements of lower palaeolithic facies which is housed in the Government Offices at Jos on the Bauchi Plateau. These were discovered largely in the course of tin-mining operations. Two examples, of which sketches were made by the author, are figured. Of these one is about 16 cm. long by 8-7 cm. in maximum width and consists of a massive flake. The greater area of one surface is the untouched scar of detachment; the other surface exhibits a large area of coarse flaking. The second is larger and better worked, possibly of diorite, 17-5 cm. long by nearly 11 cm. wide. It is considerably weathered and patinated. The form is more symmetrical and the flaking less coarse than in the first specimen, but the technique is similar in the two instances. There can be no doubt that the cleavers of West and South Africa are closely related morphologically.

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