Stock photo surprise: also, hand-axes.

I just found one of the pieces of stock art I was seriously considering using for the cover of The Maker’s Mask on a commercially published book, which was surprising.

Also, today I went to the British Museum and got to hold a Neanderthal flint hand-axe – they must have a ton of the things if they’re willing to put them out on the ‘handle some items from our collection’ table, but I was still completely transfixed by it. Also, it sat neatly in my hand, and I have small hands, which makes me think that all those illustrations that show prehistoric men chipping axes while prehistoric women hang around in the background are not telling the full story.

7 thoughts on “Stock photo surprise: also, hand-axes.

  1. I guess a lot of smaller pressies probably use stock art these days rather than paying artists, especially given the economy.

    I’d have been transfixed by that too, I find it staggering to think a person used something I have in my hand all that time ago!

    1. It felt like holding a time gate in the palm of my hand, seriously. Someone lost that hand-axe in Kent, three hundred and fifty thousand years ago. I was standing there thinking ‘that’s the distance that separates us from the people who built the Pyramids, more than seventy times over’ and feeling a kind of loving awe for this smartphone-sized thing.

        1. They had a beautiful Islamic tile from the 1400s as well, with the most amazing rainbow-coloured glaze, and a cylinder-seal with some cuneiform. I could have stayed there all day, but some foreign students showed up so I thought it was fair to let them have their go.

  2. Weren’t Neanderthal men and women smaller than modern people in general? I may have made that up.

    I think I do remember that 90% of their food intake was from the gathering skills of the women rather than the hunting skills of the men, though.

    1. Shorter but more robust-boned, I think – I remember Professor Neil Oliver on the telly looking at some bones and saying ‘this person weighed about fourteen stone, but we don’t know if it was a man or a woman’ though admittedly I was mostly transfixed by his accent and hair.

      That is interesting about the gathering versus hunting!

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