NLM-7AC682: Bronze Age socketed axehead

Rights Holder: North Lincolnshire Museum
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Rights Holder: North Lincolnshire Museum
CC License:

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Unique ID: NLM-7AC682

Object type certainty: Certain
Workflow status: Awaiting validation Find awaiting validation

Copper alloy socketed axehead retaining fragments of a wooden haft. Cast axehead with a rounded socket mouth, straighter on one side on the inner side of the aperture, with a moulded lip; a second shallower moulding passes round the axehead where it aligns with the springing of a single loop of length 21mm. Mould lines pass from the socket moulding to near a curved cutting edge along the upper and lower sides. The cutting edge is markedly abraded with the loss of all the sharpened edge. Three slivers of wood of length c.60mm, now of angular sections and one with a limited copper-stained patch and all longitudinally splitting, were within the socket. The socket itself is 65mm deep. Suggested date: Middle to Late Bronze Age, 950-800BC.

Length: 81.7mm, Height (at loop): 39.6mm, Width (at socket mouth): 36.4mm, Thickness (at socket mouth): 4.4mm, Weight (axe): 163.51gms, Weight (wood): 6.81gms


Similar axes have recently been considered in the light of Davey’s 1970 Thesis, which reviews Late Bronze Age metalwork from Lincolnshire (cf. NLM-C09AE2). The plain sides of this axe are a feature of a minority of socketed axes from Lincolnshire. Davey identified one or two longer examples from Branston at Lincoln Museum (Davey 1970, figs 22-23); an axe from near Brigg found in 1846 is closer in its size (ibid. fig. 26). Scunthorpe Museum holds comparably plain axe heads among a larger number from Burton upon Stather which includes more stubby forms as well (ibid. figs 57-58, 63-66, 72). An axe from Haxey is of similar length though with narrower flat sides (ibid. fig. 127). Plain axes from Roxby are again a minority (ibid. figs 178-180). A close parallel comes from West Halton (ibid. figs 204, 206-207). Where plain axes appear hoarded with other types of axe alone a date in the 7th century BC is suggested, and they are thought to share the broad dating of other axes of a regionally dominant Yorkshire style (ibid. page 260). Ed Caswell kindly comments on the subsequent re-dating of these axes as follows: 

All the references are good but they were published before radiocarbon dates had fully back dated all the metalwork phases. In terms of dating this type is found in Ewart Park assemblages which is given a date of roughly 950-800 cal BC now. 

If you wanted to give it a type then it fits the South Eastern definition (having a big collar with smaller one below) but also Schmidt and Burgess type Everthorpe - this is basically the same but found in 'the North' -

Find of note status

This is a find of note and has been designated: County / local importance

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder


Broad period: BRONZE AGE
Subperiod from: Late
Period from: BRONZE AGE
Subperiod to: Late
Period to: BRONZE AGE
Date from: Circa 950 BC
Date to: Circa 800 BC

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 81.7 mm
Height: 39.6 mm
Width: 36.4 mm
Thickness: 4.4 mm
Weight: 163.51 g

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Wednesday 16th March 2022

Personal details

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Other reference numbers

Other reference: NLM49932

Materials and construction

Primary material: Copper alloy
Secondary material: Wood
Manufacture method: Cast
Completeness: Complete

Spatial metadata

Region: Yorkshire and the Humber (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: North Lincolnshire (Unitary Authority)
District: North Lincolnshire (Unitary Authority)
To be known as: Haxey

Spatial coordinates

Grid reference source: GPS (from the finder)
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 1 metre square.

Discovery metadata

Method of discovery: Metal detector
General landuse: Cultivated land

References cited

No references cited so far.

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: NLM
Created: 4 months ago
Updated: 4 months ago

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