NLM-68E56D: Bronze Age Palstave Axe

Rights Holder: North Lincolnshire Museum
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Unique ID: NLM-68E56D

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

Copper alloy palstave axe. Cast axehead or sub-rectangular form with an expanded crescentic or lunate cutting edge. The object is of a lentoid profile with rounded sides and a wedge shaped flattened butt; the profile is reminiscent of the graceful form of Neolithic polished stone axes, and the form of the cutting edge also reflects these. A pair of longitudinal flanges pass between the butt and the flaring of the blade on either side, standing 2.8mm proud of the surface of the axe. Patches of glossy surface patina appear, though more has been lost than is retained. The cutting edge is sharp, and the object would appear to have been deposited in working order.

A palstave with an expanded cutting edge, though to a lesser extent and accompanied by a median ridge and a fatter profile, was reported as from 'near Brigg' (Davey 1970, Later Bronze Age Metalwork from Lincolnshire, B.Phil. dissertation for the University of Liverpool, May 1970, volume 1 page 31, Lincoln Museum 299-15), along with a narrower palstave and a socketed axe, though the evidence for their association is deemed 'extremely unsatisfactory' (ibid. page 33). That palstave was itself a rarity, and the form of the most recent discovery was locally unparalleled in 1970. Suggested date: Middle Bronze Age, 1600-1000.

Length: 111.5mm, Width (at cutting edge): 64.2mm, Thickness (at flange):16.4mm, Weight: c.265gms


Two further Bronze Age axes, one earlier and one later, have recently been reported from the vicinity, within c.80m, but Dr Kevin Leahy kindly observes that their broad date range points to a recurrently revisited site of ancient interest rather than to the disturbance of a Late Bronze Age hoard incorporating antiquities. He notes this to be typical of behaviour at a 'persistent place' in antiquity, as proposed for Lincolnshire by Dr Adam Daubeny - though this proposition may implicitly contradict the idea that local Later Bronze Age deposits of metalwork were intended to placate powers of encroaching water and marsh in a time of climatic deterioration.

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder


Broad period: BRONZE AGE
Subperiod from: Middle
Period from: BRONZE AGE
Subperiod to: Middle
Period to: BRONZE AGE
Date from: Circa 1600 BC
Date to: Circa 1000 BC

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 111.5 mm
Width: 64.2 mm
Thickness: 16.4 mm
Weight: 265 g

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Tuesday 20th November 2018

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Mr Martin Foreman
Identified by: Mr Martin Foreman

Other reference numbers

Other reference: NLM40895

Materials and construction

Primary material: Copper alloy
Completeness: Complete

Spatial metadata

Region: Yorkshire and the Humber (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: North Lincolnshire (Unitary Authority)
District: North Lincolnshire (Unitary Authority)
To be known as: Wrawby

Spatial coordinates

Grid reference source: Generated from computer mapping software
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 1 metre square.

Discovery metadata

Method of discovery: Metal detector
General landuse: Cultivated land

References cited

No references cited so far.

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: NLM
Created: About one month ago
Updated: About one month ago

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