WILT-3AC67D: Perforated Bronze Age adze

Rights Holder: Salisbury and South Wiltshire Museum
CC License:

Image use policy

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


Unique ID: WILT-3AC67D

Object type certainty: Certain
Workflow status: Published Find published

A probably Bronze Age stone shafthole adze dating to the period c.1650 - 1250 BC. The adze is sub-ovular in plan with rounded edges. It is bi-convex in profile, with gently curving sides which taper to form a rounded blade at either end which show signs of polishing. The butt end is slightly narrower. The shape has been formed by pecking and grinding. It features a slightly obliquely orientated hourglass-shaped perforation just off centre, indicating the the perforation was worked from both sides.

The adze is similar in plan and profile to Roe, (1979) pp. 38, fig. 13 nos. WA 1/ah & 302 LI 246, however, is markedly larger than either example.

The stone is dark grey in colour with a faint reddish tinge. It has a dense coarse-grained crystalline structure and significant quantities of iron inclusions visible as a network of red-brown stripes and patches across the surface of the object. Smith (1979) and Roe (1979) both state that there is a petrological link between sources of stone exploited for battle axes and those used to make shafthole adzes and that this suggests a chronological link also, battle axes are Bronze Age in date. Dr Phil Harding has suggested a possible source in Cornwall, however, the majority of examples found in the South West are made from ungrouped rocks which makes a precise petrological identification difficult without further analysis.

The adze measures c. 250.0mm in length, 113.88mm maximum width, 76.40mm minimum width, 54.75mm maximum thickness, 5.97mm minimum thickness. The diameter of the performation is 41.22mm maximum, c.17.29mm minimum.

Cf. Roe, F. E. S, 1979, pp. 23 - 36.

Smith, 1979, pp. 14 - 18.

Davis, R. V, Howard, H & Smith, I. F, 1983, pp. 14 - 18.

Thanks to Dr Phil Harding for assistance with this identification and record.

Find of note status

This has been noted as an interesting find by the recorder.

Class: Adze
Sub class: Perforated

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder


Broad period: BRONZE AGE
Period from: NEOLITHIC
Subperiod to: Early
Period to: BRONZE AGE
Date from: Circa 1650 BC
Date to: Circa 1250 BC

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 250 mm
Width: 113.88 mm
Thickness: 54.75 mm
Weight: 2381 g

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Miss Julie Shoemark
Identified by: Miss Julie Shoemark

Other reference numbers

Other reference: WHM 2014-24

Materials and construction

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

Spatial metadata

Region: South West (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Wiltshire (Unitary Authority)
District: Wiltshire (Unitary Authority)
Parish or ward: Codford (Civil Parish)

Spatial coordinates

4 Figure: ST9639
Four figure Latitude: 51.1502446
Four figure longitude: -2.05856747
1:25K map: ST9639
1:10K map: ST93NE
Grid reference source: From finder
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 10 metre square.

References cited

No references cited so far.

Similar objects

Find number: CORN-70CDC7
Object type: BATTLEAXE
Broadperiod: BRONZE AGE
Stone (diorite) perforated waisted battle axe, lozenge-shaped in plan, sub-rectangular in profile and oval in section, with a faceted butt en…
Workflow: PublishedFind published

Find number: CORN-E1A492
Object type: ADZE HAMMER
Broadperiod: NEOLITHIC
Incomplete stone shafthole adze or cushion macehead (hammer), ovate in plan, tapering slightly towards each end, and lozenge-shaped in profil…
Workflow: Awaiting validationFind awaiting validation

Find number: CORN-EB48C4
Broadperiod: NEOLITHIC
Incomplete greenstone (epidiorite) shafthole adze, sub-oval in plan, tapering slightly towards the surviving end, and lozenge-shaped in profi…
Workflow: PublishedFind published

Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: WILT
Created: 3 years ago
Updated: 3 years ago

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