NMGW-C51803: Bronze Age socketed axe

Rights Holder: The Portable Antiquities Scheme
CC License:

Image use policy

Our images can be used under a CC BY attribution licence (unless stated otherwise).


Unique ID: NMGW-C51803

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

Late Bronze Age bronze socketed axe of Southern English ribbed type, Class B (Type Welby) and of Ewart Park metalworking tradition, corresponding to Needham's (1996) Period 7, c. 950 - 750BC.

The axe-head is complete, with an overall length of 105.4mm and a weight of 344.0g. The mouth of the axe is sub-rectangular, with internal dimensions of 31.1mm (depth) by 25.9mm (width). The sub-triangular socket has a depth of 75.4mm. No casting stubs are evident on the mouth but there are broken areas above each face, where the casting stubs may have been removed. Below the mouth (6.2mm beneath) is a prominent and well-defined mouth-moulding giving the axe a maximum depth of 43.5mm and width of 39.0mm. Beneath the moulding is a plain concave collar ending in a poorly-defined moulding, which appears as a slight step on the looped side. The loop begins immediately above the lower moulding and is of D-shaped section (5.6mm thick) with a width of 10.6mm, a length of 29.0mm and has a height of 11.6mm. The casting seams are clearly visible and have been neatly finished, but appear less well-finished above the loop. The sides are straight before they expand rapidly at the blade to produce a crescentric blade edge with a width of 52.3mm. Little of the original blade edge survives but the blade does not appear to be much worn. The axe has a rectangular body section, where the sides are slightly convex across their width. Both faces of the axe are decorated with three parallel ribs beginning at the lower moulding and continuing for 45mm. The face sides are also slightly enhanced to suggested further ribs. Rows of hammer marks are evident on the blade and sharpening striations are discernible running along the blade. The axe has good surface preservation with a mid-green patina. One face has a recent mark running as far as the blade which cuts the patina and was likely to have been caused during excavation. There is a black deposit surviving over large areas of the axe surface, confirmed by XRD analysis conducted by Mary Davis to be tenorite calcite, which is unlikely to be a natural corrosion product and was seemingly applied as a deliberate coating to the axe surface.

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 1000 BC
Date to: Circa 800 BC

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 105.4 mm
Width: 52.3 mm
Weight: 344 g

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Monday 1st January 2007

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Ms Sian Williams
Identified by: Mr Mark Lodwick

Other reference numbers

Other reference: NMWPA 2007.8

Materials and construction

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

Spatial metadata

Region: South East (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Hampshire (County)
District: Test Valley (District)
Parish or ward: Nether Wallop (Civil Parish)

Spatial coordinates

4 Figure: SU2737
Four figure Latitude: 51.131644
Four figure longitude: -1.615515
1:25K map: SU2737
1:10K map: SU23NE
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 10 metre square.

Discovery metadata

Method of discovery: Metal detector
General landuse: Cultivated land

References cited

Similar objects

Find number: NMGW-41AEA2
Broadperiod: BRONZE AGE
Late Bronze Age bronze socketed axe of uncertain type and of Ewart Park metalworking phase, corresponding to Needham's (1996) Period 7, dated…
Workflow: PublishedFind published

Find number: NMGW-75C4F7
Broadperiod: BRONZE AGE
Late Bronze Age copper alloy socketed axe of faceted form and of Type Gillespie (follow Schmidt and Burgess 1981, 191f.). The axe is compl…
Workflow: PublishedFind published

Find number: YORYM-7F630B
Object type: AXEHEAD
Broadperiod: IRON AGE
An incomplete cast copper-alloy socketed axehead very probably dating from the Early Iron Age, c. 800 - 600 BC. Sompting type, probably Kingst…
Workflow: PublishedFind published

Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: NMGW
Created: 10 years ago
Updated: 9 months ago

Other formats: this page is available as qrcode json xml geojson pdf rdf representations.