FLAT AXEHEAD

Unique ID: HESH-84D8A5

Object type certainty: Certain
Workflow status: Awaiting validation Find waiting to be validated

Cast copper alloy (bronze) flat axe of Early Bronze Age date (c. 2500 - 2050 BC). It is likely that this axe is complete with a distinctive flat butt; it is also very heavy for its size. This example fits best into the copper axes and early bronze axes These are dated to the Early Bronze Age of metalworking stage I-II, which corresponds to Needham's (1996) Period 1-2 circa 2500- 2050 CAL. BC. The flat axe is broadly sub rectangular in plan with a splayed crescent shaped blade. In profile it is broadly lentoid, with slight tapering edges. In cross section the axe is D shaped with one edge displaying a distinctive curved (domed edge) whilst the opposite is relatively flat. It is likely that this is caused by the axe being cast in an open stone mould. The overall length is 115.5mm and the axe weighs approximately 450 grams. The butt is relatively thin having a wide flat edge; the width at the butt is 39.5mm (thickness: 3.5mm). The sides of the axe gently expand in width from the butt to the blade; in shape they are relatively straight. There is no evidence of the long edges being raised to form flanges and there is also no evidence of a median bevel (proto stop ridge). However, the axe is thickest at the mid point (13.5mm). The sides of the blade expand to produce a crescentic blade edge with a width of 68.5mm. The tips of the crescent shaped blade have been damaged through either abrasion or wear, as has the blade edge itself. A distinct blade facet is not present. There is no evidence of any form of incised or cast decoration present on any surface of the axe. The axe is a mid green brown colour with a much abraded or corroded patina. Where damage has occurred there is either a light green active corrosion or a mid brown purple coloured corrosion present. The overall condition of the axe suggests that there has been limited movement in the soil. The axehead is best described as coming from the first phases of the Early Bronze Age (or possibly even the Copper Age). The form of the axe is comparable to Type Growtown/ Milton Moss (outlined by Schmidt and Burgess p 23-24). This form is described as having a thin butt, relatively straight sides with slightly expanded cutting edge. These have a broad distribution in Wales and the Marches but are also common in England. However, this axe also has characteristics seen on other forms of early axes specifically Type Lough Ravel / Minto and some of the early Migdale axes (although these tend to have narrower butts which flare more at the cutting edge). These axes all fit within the earliest phases of metal working in Britain, metalworking stage I-II, which corresponds to Needham's (1996) Period 1-2 circa 2500- 2050 CAL. BC. This means that they are dated, broadly, to the same period as Beaker pottery, barbed and tanged flint arrowheads, copper halberds and gold lunulae.

This has been noted as an interesting find by the recorder.

Class: Growtown

Chronology

Broad period: BRONZE AGE
Subperiod from: Early
Period from: BRONZE AGE [scope notes | view all attributed records]
Date from: 2500 BC
Date to: 2050 BC

Dimensions and weight

Length: 115.5 mm
Width: 68.5 mm
Thickness: 13.5 mm
Weight: 450 g
Quantity: 1

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Mr Peter Reavill - [ view all attributed records]
Identified by: Mr Peter Reavill - [view all attributed records]

Other reference numbers

Materials and construction

Primary material: Copper alloy [scope notes | view all attributed records]
Manufacture method: Cast [scope notes | view all attributed records]
Completeness: Complete [scope notes | view all attributed records]

A resized image of Early Bronze Age: Axe

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Spatial metadata

Region: West Midlands
County: Worcestershire
District: Malvern Hills
To be known as: Malvern Hills

Spatial coordinates

Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 100 metre square.

Discovery metadata

Method of discovery: Other chance find [scope notes]
General landuse: Grassland, Heathland[scope notes]
Specific landuse: Undisturbed grassland[scope notes]

References cited

No references cited so far.

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Audit data

Created: Thursday 23rd July 2009
Updated: Wednesday 3rd April 2013

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