AXIS SURVEY: Functions, Features, Locations Found


The impact ax is one of the daily tools used in ancient times and the remains of the impact ax can be found in fossil form today. This ancient human relic tool was commonly used in the Paleolithic era or often referred to as the Old Stone Age.

This ax is found in several places in the world and makes it a witness to the life of ancient humans who started hunting and gathering. Due to its simple form and various functions, this ax became a tool that was often used in ancient times by early humans.

List of contents

Understanding Ax Perimbas

Understanding Ax Perimbas

An ax is a tool that is deliberately made and used to help ease the work of humans in the Paleolithic era. For example, it is used to cut trees, chop wood, armor, and others.

This type of ax is generally still the same type with hand axes that are massive or different in shape. The impact ax is also made of stone and does not have a handle like the axes that we encounter in general today.

This ancient relic tool is made with a technique that is still rough. This ax only has one side of the eye which is quite sharp. One side of the ax is intentionally made sharp by cutting the other side.

The sharp eye is usually straight or convex. This ax does not have a handle, so to use it can be done by gripping it directly with the fingers.

These axes can be found in all parts of the earth, but their shape and function depend on the culture of each user. Southeast Asia and East Asia are certainly different from those in Europe, Africa, West Asia and parts of India.

Inventor of the Impact Ax

Inventor of the Impact Ax

Research on the paleolithic tradition in Indonesia has been started since 1937. The figure who had an important role in finding these tools was named Von Koenigswald. He managed to find tools made of stone in the Punung area, Pacitan Regency.

The tools found have a rough pattern and are simple in making techniques. He then made the tools classified as paleolithic tools that have a Chellean style, a tradition that has developed in the early paleolithic period in Europe.

Then the opinion expressed by Von Koenigswald was refuted by Movies who informed that The inscription in Pacitan is one of the characteristics of the development of the Perimbas Ax in East Asia.

Read: Examples of Metamorphic Rocks

The Area Where the Ax of Perimbas Was Found

The Area Where the Ax of Perimbas Was Found

Research at this location was first carried out by Von Koenigswald in 1935. Until now, the Punung area was used as the location for the discovery of this ax and became the most important area in Indonesia.

In addition to the Punung area, this ax is also found in Lahat (South Sumatra), Bali, Jampang Kulon (Sukabumi), Kamuda (Lampung), Flores, Punung (Pacitan), Timor, Parigi, and Tambangsawah (Bengkulu).

Some experts had argued that the humans who supported this culture were Pithecanthropus and its descendants. This opinion is certainly in accordance with the age of the Pacitan Culture and is thought to be at the end of the Middle Pleistocene or the Late Pleistocene at the beginning.

Not only that, in Choukoutien Cave (China) several human fossils of a type of Pithecanthropus erectus were also found, called Sinanthropus pekinensis. These stone tools were found in caves that are similar to stone tools in the Pacitan area.

Features of the Ax of Perimbas

Features of the Ax of Perimbas

Generally, the characteristics of stone tools which are the result of the Movies classification can be explained below:

Trimming is generally done on one surface only. The sharp part is usually convex (convex), the skin of the stone is still partially attached the large surface of the stone and the sharpness sometimes straight if through trimming on one side of the periphery stone.

Some of the tools that are important elements in the impact ax complex are flake tools. The shape of the shale tools is generally simple (Clacton shale type) with a prominent bulbous cone and a wide and flat striking platform.

In some local groups, these tools are found in large numbers, for example in Indonesia, Pakistan and Vietnam. Sometimes the number exceeds the number of other types of tools.

The Function of the Impact Ax

The Function of the Impact Ax

During hunting, this ax serves to pierce animals and dig the ground to get tubers. Due to the hard base material, this ax can be used to cut game that has a hard and rather thick shape.

There are allegations that are still being debated, including the function of the ax for hunting. This is doubtful because this ax is not easy to carry nor is it difficult to use in hunting animals. Below are other functions of this axe:

1. Used for Cutting And Pounding

Many experts agree with the function of this one ax which is to cut and pound food.

At that time, ordinary humans used this ax to cut meat, slash meat, pound nuts and trees and collect the fiber for later use as clothes.

2. Used in Hunting Animals

This ax can serve as a hunting tool but has various debates among many experts. If the ax is used to attack animals, of course it will require a fairly large amount of energy. Unless this ax is made into arrows or spears.

3. Used in Helping Nomadic Society

Humans who have lived nomadic lives will depend on it by scavenging for food and collecting it. This ax is a tool that has quite a big influence on nomadic society.

Nomadic people also do not have a special place to cultivate crops and the like because the place is not in accordance with their lifestyle.

4. According to L.Binfors Teori Theory

Binfors has proposed a theory which states that in the Poleolithic era, humans did not carry out hunting activities on animals. Usually those who do the hunting are carnivorous animals and humans act as scavengers.

This ax will serve to cut the meat of the rest of the game from carnivorous animals. This ax indeed cannot be used to kill large animals unless there are dozens of people who attack simultaneously when killing the animal.

5. According to the theory of P. Shipman and R. Potss


Based on the theory put forward by P.Shipman da R.Potss, they support the theory of L.Binfors where they have found evidence if this ax was used by humans in the stone age to take game meat from carnivorous animals.

They also found bones with tooth marks on the remains of the food bones.

Read: Prehistoric Age

Types of Impact Axes

Types of Impact Axes

There are several types found in prehistoric times. According to research, the type of ax found by H.R van Heekeren, P. Mark, P. Soejono and Basoeki were discovered in 1953.

Van Heekeren also agreed with Movius' typology which had been divided, but then he divided this ax into four special types namely iron (flat iron), basic drawstring (end-chopper), horse hoof type, and side drawstring (side chopper).

For the type of iron and the type of horse sole, it is a special pattern for the Pacitan industry. Seeing the comparison with the techniques found, Van Heekeren then included the Pacitan tool in the chopper-chopping tool complex technique developed in Southeast Asia.

Making Axes of Perimbas

Making Axes of Perimbas

This ax has a shape that is still rough and not specific. Not infrequently also only in the form of stone fragments. This tool is made of one-sided stone with a sharpness that can be transverse or distal. According to this understanding, these various tools are a massive end drawstring.

This ax is made of igneous rock scattered in the wild. In addition, it also uses obsidian stone to make it sharper in making it easier to cut. This ax is used by gripping, therefore sometimes this ax is also called a hand ax.

This ax is made by sharpening a stone on one surface of its contents. Therefore, that part will be much sharper when compared to the other side.

The skin of the stone is still attached to all parts of the surface that are not so sharpened. This section is usually used as a grip area. This ax becomes an ax that is quite comfortable when gripped.

How to make this type of ax is to use two stones so that the side of the stone becomes sharp. This allows the ax to be used in cutting as well as splitting the core stone. These axes found in Indonesia are usually made of basalt, quartz, quartzite, chert and obsidian.

Spread Ax Perimbas

Spread Ax Perimbas

In other cultures, the perimbas ax is also known as Oldowan, which is a term used by archaeologists to describe a group of tools made of stone and used in the period from 2.6 million years ago to 1.7 million years ago then.

The term that is often used by the Oldowan cultural group is mostly found in Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Europe. The African region is usually a repository of data for ax culture.

There are many countries in Africa that are places where the impact ax is found, such as Egypt, Kenya, Ethiopia, Tanzania, and South Africa. Although these axes are found in almost all parts of the world, this does not mean that these stone tools have the same function and form.

The differences between the shapes and materials can also show variations between cultures. This ax is dealing with different conditions and natural resources.

1. In Europe Region

This stone tool is commonly found in Sweden, Georgia, Portugal, Bulgaria, Spain, Italy, France, Russia, Germany, Czech Republic, Hungary and England.

2. For the Asia and Middle East Region

The countries from which the ax was found include China, Israel, Pakistan, Iran, Thailand, Indonesia, Myanmar, and also Malaysia.

The Southeast Asian region and the East Asian region of course have different cultural developments from western regions such as Europe, West Asia, Africa, and India.

This can be seen in terms of form as well as the technique of making these stone tools. Likewise, the type of rock used to make these axes is in different places.

For example, using wood fossils that are widely used in Myanmar, quartz rocks in the Punjab, China, and Malaysia. On the other hand, kersian limestone and also kersian tuff are usually found as the basic material for making axes in Indonesia.

Human Culture During the Use of the Impact Ax

Human Culture During the Use of the Impact Ax

Human civilization in prehistoric times can be seen from the socio-economic level in general and can be divided into several eras, namely the era of hunting and gathering food, farming, and the era of perundagian. Each era has its own characteristics and character.

In the era of hunting and gathering food, humans have known tools that can help meet their needs in hunting and gathering food from nature.

Human life during the hunting period usually lived a nomadic life or could be said to be nomadic because they did not have a permanent place to live and depended on their natural surroundings.

Based on existing discoveries, several prehistoric human fossils, especially in Indonesia, support this ax culture are Meganthropus paleojavanicus, Homo soloensis, Pithecanthropus erectus, Homo erectus, Wajakensis to Homo sapiens.

They make good use of nature to live, including making various tools from stone. With the discovery of tools made of stone as a relic of prehistoric times, it is evidence that life hundreds of thousands of years ago really existed.

Read: Melanesoid Race

The History of the Ax Slayers Around the World

The History of the Ax Slayers Around the World

This ax tradition is widespread in East Asia and research has been carried out by experts in 1937-1938, which coincided in Burma and Java. There are several figures involved among Helmutt de Terra, Teilhard de Chardin, and Hallam L. Movius Jr.

Before this research took place, equipment similar to this type of ax had been found. But some facts about the distinctive features of the paleolithic tools that developed in East Asia have not yet been established.

Evidence of the spread of forage axes at that time was known in several areas such as Burma (the valley of the Irrawaddy), Pakistan (Punjab), China (Chou Kou Tien, Kwangsi, Yangtze valley), and also Indonesia (Pacitan).

Based on observations of the findings scattered in the above area, Movius found the fact that in East Asia there had been developed a palelithic culture that was not the same as the culture that developed in West Asia, Europe, Africa, and parts of India.

In their manufacture, these various hand tools are still monofacial, i.e. the cutting of stone tools is done only on one surface. The collection of stone cultures that have this special style is also known as the perimbas ax complex.

The History of Perimbas Ax Culture in Indonesia

The History of Perimbas Ax Culture in Indonesia

The culture of this type of ax in Indonesia generally has a good distribution and can develop in areas where there are certain rock materials in making various stone tools.

This tool is a tool that is usually roughly patterned and the manufacturing technique is quite simple. These tools are then classified as paleolithic tools that have Chellean or also called a tradition that has developed at the beginning of the paleolithic level in Europe.

Movies later refuted this opinion and said that the findings in Pacitan were one of the patterns of development of axes in the East Asia region.

The ax tradition in the Pacitan area was later known as Pacitan Culture and has a view as the development of stone culture with the earliest stage in Indonesia.

Not only in the Pacitan area, this type of ax has also been found in other areas in Indonesia, for example in Indonesia Kalianda (Lampung), Cabbenge (South Sulawesi), Lahat (South Sumatra), Maumere (Flores), Batutring (Sumbawa) are also in the area. other.

The perimbas ax is indeed a type of ax that has had a special function since ancient times. As Indonesian citizens, we must strive to be more familiar with existing traditional tools.





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