Jade, 5000-3600 BCE. Biebrich, Germany.
This axe is made of European jade mined in prehistoric quarries in the Italian Alps. It appears to be an object of beauty rather than function. It would have taken several days to polish this jade object by grinding it against stone, polishing with fine sand or silt and rubbing by hand with grass or leaves.
This image was taken at the National Museum of Australia in the British Museum travelling exhibition A History of the World in 100 (and 1) Objects.