NMGW-5C3455: Late Bronze Age socketed axe of faceted type, Type Meldrith, variant Aylsham

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Unique ID: NMGW-5C3455

Object type certainty: Certain
Workflow status: Published Find published

Late Bronze Age socketed axe of faceted type, Type Meldreth, variant Aylsham, as defined by Schmidt & Burgess (1981, p 204-8) and of late Wilburton to Ewart Park metalworking phases, corresponding to Needham's (1996) Periods 6 to 7, c. 1150 -750BC

The axe is fragmentary and damaged, missing the blade and part of the mouth and is partially filled with sediment (with a surviving length of 78.4mm and a weight of 101.6g). The socket mouth is circular and incomplete, with a little over half remaining (with a diameter of 33.0mm). Below the socket, the mouth is concave (for 11mm) before a moulding, producing the characteristic 'trumpet-shaped collar'. The loop springs from below the moulding (with a length of 21mm) and has been distorted with a blow to its midpoint, producing an undulating form. The looped side is more complete and is concave across its length, expanding towards the missing blade (with a maximum surviving width 28.0mm and a width below the loop of 25.5mm). The casting seam is evident running along the preserved side and has been finished. The body of the axe has a number of facets, seemingly twelve, which characterise the axe type. The blade of the axe appears to have been removed and significant battering above the break has closed the socket at the break (giving a thickness at the break of 11.8mm). The mouth has also received a blow, causing a part of the body to be folded into the socket. The split continues to the break at the base and has also received a significant blow above the blade. The surface is corroded and worn with a light-brown corrosion overlying a black patina.


The axe demonstrates clear evidence of deliberate damage, apparently to the mouth, the loop in addition to the faces and sides of the blade. Faceted axes have been recorded from a Late Wilburton hoard in Co. Roscommon, indicating a possible date for the type from the transition of the Wilburton-Wallington and Ewart Park metalworking phases.

1. Schmidt, P.K. & Burgess, C. 1981; The Axes of Scotland and Northern Ireland, Praähistorische Bronzefunde Abteilung IX, 7. Band 7
2. Needham, S. 1996; Chronology and Periodisation in the British Bronze Age, Acta Archaeologica 67, p. 121-140

Class: socketed axe of faceted type, Type Meldreth, variant Aylsham

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 1150 BC
Date to: Circa 750 BC

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 78.4 mm
Weight: 101.6 g

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Miss Wenke Domscheit
Identified by: Mr Mark Lodwick

Other reference numbers

Other reference: NMWPA 2014.158.1

Materials and construction

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

Spatial metadata

Region: Wales (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: the Vale of Glamorgan (Unitary Authority)
District: the Vale of Glamorgan (Unitary Authority)
Parish or ward: St. Donats (Community)

Spatial coordinates

4 Figure: SS9368
Four figure Latitude: 51.40090601
Four figure longitude: -3.53955461
1:25K map: SS9368
1:10K map: SS96NW
Grid reference source: From finder
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 10 metre square.

References cited

No references cited so far.

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: NMGW
Created: 4 years ago
Updated: About one year ago

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