CORN-DA3498: tranchet axe (dorsal)

Rights Holder: Royal Institution of Cornwall
CC License:

Rights Holder: Royal Institution of Cornwall
CC License:

Rights Holder: Royal Institution of Cornwall
CC License:

Rights Holder: Royal Institution of Cornwall
CC License:

Rights Holder: Royal Institution of Cornwall
CC License:

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Unique ID: CORN-DA3498

Object type certainty: Certain
Workflow status: Awaiting validation Find awaiting validation

A Mesolithic tranchet axe or adze, rectangular in plan, lozenge-shaped in profile, triangular in section at the butt end and lenticular at the slightly wider blade end. Made on an elongated flint nodule which has been flaked from both faces to remove most of the cortex, except for a small patch at the butt end, to produce the outline shape of the axe. Large flakes have been removed from one edge of both faces, mid-way along the axe, resulting in a thinning of the axe at this point, apparently for hafting the axe. At the blade end, the axe has been thinned on both faces by the removal of shallow flakes around the cutting edge. On the dorsal face three shallow flakes of varying width have been removed at the blade end; on the opposite, ventral face a large flake, the tranchet flake, has been removed, by striking the right-hand side, parallel to the edge of the blade, to produce a sharp cutting edge. Either side of the cutting edge the margins of the axe have been sharpened by the removal of numerous small flakes although both edges have subsequently been blunted through use. The relative sharpness of the blade end suggests that the axe had been re-sharpened by a more recent tranchet blow shortly before it was discarded. The silky patina on the surface of the flint is coloured with patches of pale grey-brown and reddish-brown. Butler (2005) states on page 99 that tools of this type should be referred to as tranchet adzes, rather than axes, but if the thinning at the mid-point of the current example is for hafting it would have been used as an axe.

Butler (2005) illustrates a very similar, although shorter, tranchet adze, from Pyecombe, Sussex, in colour plate 12. On page 99, he notes that tranchet axes or adzes are generally associated with early Mesolithic assemblages in most areas of Britain except the south-east, dating the current example from c.10,000-7000 BC.

Bond (2004) illustrates a similar core adze on page 105, fig.5.89, no.96, which is dated from the Early Mesolithic.

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: In a private collection, recorded for academic use


Broad period: MESOLITHIC
Subperiod from: Early
Period from: MESOLITHIC
Subperiod to: Middle
Date from: Circa 10000 BC
Date to: Circa 7000 BC

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 166 mm
Width: 55 mm
Thickness: 35 mm
Weight: 339 g

Personal details

Recorded by: Ms Anna Tyacke
Identified by: Ms Anna Tyacke

Materials and construction

Primary material: Flint
Manufacture method: Knapped/flaked
Completeness: Complete

Spatial metadata

Region: South West (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Bournemouth (Unitary Authority)
District: Bournemouth (Unitary Authority)
Parish or ward: East Southbourne and Tuckton (Unitary Authority Ward)

Spatial coordinates

4 Figure: SZ1691
Four figure Latitude: 50.71841002
Four figure longitude: -1.77472099
1:25K map: SZ1691
1:10K map: SZ11SE
Grid reference source: Centred on field
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 100 metre square.

References cited

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: CORN
Created: 9 months ago
Updated: 9 months ago

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