Neolithic Axe From Caldy

Neolithic Axe from the Caldy area of Wirral.
Neolithic stone axe. Copyright: National Museums Liverpool. License: Attribution-ShareAlike.

A lot of the finds recorded with the Portable Antiquities Scheme tend to be made of metal, even though we are always more than happy to record objects made from other materials. We see lots of coins and buttons and buckles, but rarely do we get to record stone axes. Therefore this one, found while gardening in the Caldy area of Wirral and bought in for recording, was a real treat.

There are currently only 158 stone axes recorded on the Portable Antiquities Scheme database. Fourteen of these have been recovered from Cumbria, one from St. Helens recorded as LVPL-7D4596 , one from Cheshire recorded as LVPL-8F10F8 and now this example from the Wirral. Due to their construction material stone axes are usually found by members of the public while gardening or field walking and are found less frequently by metal detector users. This accounts for the small numbers recorded on the Portable Antiquities Scheme database compared with later copper alloy axes.

This latest axe from Caldy dates to the Neolithic period (c 4000-2500BC). It is sub-trapezoidal in plan with convex curved faces. Both the butt end and cutting face have been knapped and reflaked, perhaps for a secondary use or for re-hafting. The faces of the axe are worn with scratch marks and the polished surface is faded. The stone is a light greenish brown colour, possibly a volcanic rock originating from the Scarfell Pike area of the Lake District. You can view the full record at www.finds.org.uk/database record number LVPL-FA1F01.