CORN-3237B8: flat axe (plan)

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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FLAT AXEHEAD

Unique ID: CORN-3237B8

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

A cast copper-alloy miniature flat axe head of the Early Bronze Age, c.2200-2000 BC. Sub-triangular in plan, lenticular in section and in profile. At 101 mm in length the axe is slightly over half the size of a standard Early Bronze Age axe from South-west England. It is 43.5 mm wide at the blade end, tapering to 20 mm near the damaged butt end; its maximum thickness is 9.5 mm and its weight 164.45 g. The sides are straight and do not flare outwards to meet the blade edge which is slightly curved in plan. Much of the original surface has been lost and the axe is pitted and abraded through corrosion and movement within the plough soil. One face is less corroded but there is no evidence of any form of incised decoration on the surface of the axe. The butt end has broken in antiquity to create a central projection which has subsequently worn to a smooth point. The break suggests that part of the axehead was left in the haft or handle which means that it was used.

Pearce (1983) describes a miniature Migdale (Sutherland, Scotland) type flat axe, with a slightly flared blade, from Banner Down, Somerset on page 502, which is illustrated in pl.69, no.587 and a wider, broader Migdale type flat axe with straight sides from Harlyn Bay, Cornwall on page 418, pl.12, no.98c, which are both associated with the Migdale metalworking tradition of the Early Bronze Age, c.2200-2000 BC.

Schmidt & Burgess (1981) discuss Migdale flat axes on pp.35-45 and the Biggar variants, with their straighter sides and less rounded cutting edges, on pp.46-48. These are illustrated in plates 5 to 19. A similar small flat axe with straight sides and a shallow curve to the blade, of the Biggar variant type, from Yorkshire, which is the same length, is illustrated in pl.19, no.241.

There are similar miniature Migdale type axes recorded on the database in WMID-58D2F4 and LVPL-DA4598, which is referred to as a 'Biggar' variant of the Migdale type of flat axe, but these have slightly crescentic blades.

These axes all fit within the earliest phases of metal working in Britain, Metalworking Stage II, which corresponds to Needham's (1996, p.122) Period 2 (c.2350-2050 cal BC). This means that they are dated, broadly, to the same period as Beaker pottery, barbed and tanged flint arrowheads, copper halberds and gold lunulae.

Class: Migdale
Sub class: Biggar variant

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder

Chronology

Broad period: BRONZE AGE
Subperiod from: Early
Period from: BRONZE AGE
Subperiod to: Early
Period to: BRONZE AGE
Date from: Circa 2200 BC
Date to: Circa 2000 BC

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 101 mm
Width: 43.5 mm
Thickness: 9.5 mm
Weight: 164.45 g

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Ms Anna Tyacke
Identified by: Ms Anna Tyacke

Materials and construction

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

Spatial metadata

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

Spatial coordinates

4 Figure: SX1082
Four figure Latitude: 50.60670323
Four figure longitude: -4.68656202
1:25K map: SX1082
1:10K map: SX12NW
Grid reference source: GPS (from the finder)
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 1 metre square.

Discovery metadata

Method of discovery: Metal detector
General landuse: Grassland, Heathland

References cited

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: CORN
Created: 4 months ago
Updated: 3 months ago

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