HESH-B617D3: Bronze Age socketed axehead

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SOCKETED AXEHEAD

Unique ID: HESH-B617D3

Object type certainty: Certain
Workflow status: Published Find published

An incomplete cast bronze (copper alloy) socketed axe of Late Bronze Age date (1000 - 750 BC). The axe is incomplete; it is missing the mouth and upper part of the socket including the loop and is broken below the mid-point. Due to the damage classification is difficult. It is likely that this axe fits within the socketed and faceted axe typology probably associated with the Wilburton metalworking traditions (phase X) and earlier phases of the Ewart Park tradition (phase XII). This corresponds to Needham's (1996) Period 6-7 circa 1000-750 CAL. BC.

The axe is broadly sub-rectangular in plan with a slight flared / expanded convex, but much abraded, cutting edge. In profile the fragment is sub-triangular / wedge shaped. The socket is also sub-rectangular in cross section with the side walls tapering evenly to a rectangular base. The depth of the socket from the edge of the break to base of socket is 9.5mm. The broken edges are all well abraded and patinated suggesting the damage is old. Both the casting seams (which run down the sides of the axe) show signs of finishing (being trimmed and flattened). The expanded blade has a curved convex (crescent shaped) cutting edge which is relatively poorly preserved. The blade edge has been lost through abrasion and corrosion. The edges of both faces of the axe are slender and narrow - a diagnostic feature of faceted axes. The axe fragment is a mid brown colour with an even, well formed patina which covers most surfaces. There are several areas where this patina has been lost - probably through abrasion. Some of this exposed metal has a light green powdery copper corrosion present. The areas worst affected are those around the broken socket and cutting edge. This form of faceted axe is relatively rare in Wales and the Marches and it is a shame that it isn't more complete so it could be fully classified. It is similar in style and proportion to a complete axe in the National Museum of Wales Collection from Llansilin, Denbighshire (catalogue No 18 p 108 and 172), Llangelynin, Merionith (ibid: no 188) or St Mellons, Monmouthshire (ibid no 189). These three paralleled axes are all similar to those classified as Faceted Axes - Type Meldreth which is part of the Ewart Park metalwork assemblage (950-750 BC).

The axe fragment measures 24.5mm length, 34.8mm width, is 11.7mm thick and weighs 20.25 grams.

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder

Chronology

Broad period: BRONZE AGE
Subperiod from: Late
Period from: BRONZE AGE
Period to: BRONZE AGE
Date from: Exactly 1000 BC
Date to: Circa 750 BC

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 24.5 mm
Width: 34.8 mm
Thickness: 11.7 mm
Weight: 20.25 g

Personal details

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Other reference numbers

Other reference: Hereford Museum Entry Form: HFDMG 2768

Materials and construction

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

Spatial metadata

Region: West Midlands (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Shropshire (Unitary Authority)
District: Shropshire (Unitary Authority)
To be known as: Billingsley

Spatial coordinates


Grid reference source: From finder
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 1 metre square.

Discovery metadata

Method of discovery: Metal detector
General landuse: Cultivated land
Specific landuse: Operations to a depth greater than 0.25m

References cited

No references cited so far.

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: HESH
Created: 8 years ago
Updated: 5 years ago

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