BH-8525D6: Neolithic battle axe

Rights Holder: St. Albans District Council
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Unique ID: BH-8525D6

Object type certainty: Certain
Workflow status: Published Find published

A ground stone battle axe, probably of Scandinavian origin and dating from the Neolithic period.

The axe, which survives intact, is of flattened-oval section, tapering to a wedge-shaped, downward-curving blade. The cylindrical socket is located close to the butt of the axe, where there is a rearward, hammer-like projection of circular section. The tool has been made from a medium-textured grey stone with a strand-like structure. Orangey-brown deposits on the surface of the implement are probably the result of the tool having been deposited in a wet environment.

Length: 147.8mm; width: 45.3mm; height: 30.7mm; diameter of perforation: 17.4mm. Weight: 294.66g.

The form of this implement, and the type of stone employed, suggest a non-British origin. The closest parallels that could be found are in a group of Danish axes in the collections of the Lord McAlpine, dated early to mid 3rd millennium BC, and products of the Northern European 'Corded Ware/Battle Axe' Culture (MacGregor ed. 1987: 75, cf. nos. 4.178 and 4.179). It is uncertain as to whether this battle axe is a contemporary loss or a more recent import.

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: NEOLITHIC
Subperiod from: Middle
Period from: NEOLITHIC
Subperiod to: Late
Period to: NEOLITHIC
Date from: Circa 3000 BC
Date to: Circa 2500 BC

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 147.8 mm
Height: 30.7 mm
Width: 45.3 mm
Weight: 294.66 g

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Monday 1st June 1970

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Mr Julian Watters
Identified by: Mr Julian Watters

Other reference numbers

Other reference: Ver 14/74

Materials and construction

Primary material: Stone
Manufacture method: Ground/polished
Completeness: Complete

Spatial metadata

Region: Eastern (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Bedford (Unitary Authority)
District: Bedford (Unitary Authority)
Parish or ward: Elstow (Civil Parish)

Spatial coordinates

4 Figure: TL0547
Four figure Latitude: 52.1113671
Four figure longitude: -0.46812201
1:25K map: TL0547
1:10K map: TL04NE
Grid reference source: From a paper map
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 100 metre square.

Discovery metadata

Method of discovery: Other chance find
General landuse: Grassland, Heathland

References cited

Author Publication Year Title Publication Place Publisher Pages Reference
MacGregor, A. 1987 Antiquities from Europe and the Near East Oxford Ashmolean Museum

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: BH
Created: 5 years ago
Updated: 5 years ago

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