FAKL-FB5DF6: Iron Age Socketed Axe

Rights Holder: The Portable Antiquities Scheme
CC License:

Rights Holder: The Portable Antiquities Scheme
CC License:

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Unique ID: FAKL-FB5DF6

Object type certainty: Certain
Workflow status: Published Find published

Late Bronze Age or Early Iron Age bronze socketed axe of 'Sompting type'. The axe was cast in a two part mould and flash lines marking the junction of the two parts run down both sides. These had been partly smoothed after casting. The body of the axe has a rectangular section with a heavy moulding around the socket opening. Below this,the faces are marked with three transverse ribs, there is a single rib across one of the sides, the other face bearing the loop. This has suffered some damage but appears to have had a flattened lozenge section. The loop springs from two transverse ribs. Both faces are elaborately decorated with raised designs. These consist, on both faces, of three longitudinal ribs terminating with large pellets set within raised rings. The three ribs define four panels, similar, but not identical, on the two faces. All four of the outer panels bear rows of closely set, angled, ribs. The left hand, inner, panels contain three sets of angled, and counter angled, ribs. On one of the two faces the right hand panel contains a single row of raised chevrons, on the other face the chevrons extend only part way down the right hand panel being replaced by angled ribs. The axe has a fine surface patination but appears to have suffered recent damage, perhaps as a result of agricultural activity. Length 124mm, Width 44mm, Thickness 40mm, Blade width 53mm. Mass 350g.

This axe can be paralleled by the example in the British Museum from Cayton Carr, North Yorkshire (Dot Boughton, pers. comm). This has a similar shape and is decorated with three ribs ending in two, rather than single, ringed pellets. The ancillary panels of decoration are absent but are represented, in an attenuated form, on the axe from Winwick, Lancashire although the lines do not terminate in ringed pellets (Evans, 1881, 123, Fig. 136). Schmidt and Burgess (1981, no.1624) illustrate an axe from Skipsea, East Yorkshire, which appears to parallel the present find.

Sompting type socketed axes date from the very end of the Bronze Age or Early Iron Age. They are characterised by their comparatively large size and the use of rib and ringed-dot decoration. The use of additional moundings beneath the collar seems a feature of axes from northern England. Sompting axes are rare in comparison to other socketed axe type with less than a hundred known.

Find of note status

This is a find of note and has been designated: Regional importance

Class: Sompting

Subsequent actions

Current location of find: North Lincolnshire Museum, Scunthorpe
Subsequent action after recording: Acquired by a museum - not a Treasure case


Broad period: IRON AGE
Subperiod from: Late
Period from: BRONZE AGE
Subperiod to: Early
Period to: IRON AGE
Date from: Circa 800 BC
Date to: Circa 700 BC

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 124 mm
Width: 44 mm
Thickness: 40 mm
Weight: 350 g

Personal details

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Materials and construction

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

Spatial metadata

Region: Yorkshire and the Humber (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: North Lincolnshire (Unitary Authority)
District: North Lincolnshire (Unitary Authority)
Parish or ward: Cadney (Civil Parish)

Spatial coordinates

4 Figure: TA0406
Four figure Latitude: 53.5403572
Four figure longitude: -0.43211045
1:25K map: TA0406
1:10K map: TA00NW
Grid reference source: GPS (from the finder)
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 1 metre square.

Discovery metadata

Method of discovery: Metal detector
Discovery circumstances: Metal detecting
Current location: North Lincolnshire Museum, Scunthorpe

References cited

No references cited so far.

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: FAKL
Created: 5 years ago
Updated: 7 months ago

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