LANCUM-2BE374: Developed flat axe

Rights Holder: The Portable Antiquities Scheme
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Unique ID: LANCUM-2BE374

Object type certainty: Certain
Workflow status: Published Find published

Copper-alloy developed flat axehead dating from the Early Bronze Age, that is c. 2000-1900BC.

The axehead survives in good condition with a very shiny, glossy surface and smooth patina. The surface is slightly pitted, but there is no sign of the later stages of bronze disease. The axehead is lenticular in profile, with slightly raised but not pronounced flanges. It does not have a stop ridge, but a very slight raised section across the centre. This is curved and made more visible but being undecorated above the 'ledge' and decorated below. The decoration consists of a untidy 'rain' pattern which was gouged into the surface below the ledge, but not extending into the blade section. The blade shows striations, i.e. resharpening marks.

According to Needham's more recent publication Classification of Chalcolithic and Early Bronze Age Copper and Bronze Axe-Heads, the axehead is most likely a Class 4C (Mount Pleasant type), dating from the 20th C BC. Needham's classification is mainly based on axeheads from Southern Britain, but he makes allowances for specimens from Northern Britain (Needham 2017,22-26) and this axe with its smooth, shiny patina, parallel sides, lenticular profile and decorated lower half seems to fit best in his class 4C. Similar axes were found in a hoard at Wold Farm, Willerby, Yorkshire, and Place Newton, Winteringham, East Yorkshire (Schmidt and Burgess 1981, Plate 134D and E).

1 Schmidt, P.K. & Burgess, C. 1981; The Axes of Scotland and Northern Ireland, Prähistorische Bronzefunde Abteilung IX, 7.

2 Needham, S. 1996; Chronology and Periodisation in the British Bronze Age , Acta Archaeologica 67, 121-140.

3 Davis, Mary, 2016; National Museum Wales - SEM EDS analysis of a sample of the EBA flat axe: PAS 2015-29-002 & 005

4 Needham, S. 2017; The Classification of Chalcolithic and Early Bronze Age Copper and Bronze Axe-Heads from Southern Britain. Archaeopress: Access Archaeology.

Class: Needham 2017, Class 4C

Subsequent actions

Subsequent action after recording: Returned to finder


Broad period: BRONZE AGE
Subperiod from: Early
Period from: BRONZE AGE
Subperiod to: Early
Period to: BRONZE AGE
Date from: Circa 2000 BC
Date to: Circa 1900 BC

Dimensions and weight

Quantity: 1
Length: 132 mm
Width: 61 mm
Thickness: 13 mm
Weight: 288 g

Discovery dates

Date(s) of discovery: Monday 12th February 2018

Personal details

Found by: This information is restricted for your login.
Recorded by: Dr Dot Boughton
Identified by: Dr Dot Boughton
Secondary identifier: Ms Sally Worrell

Materials and construction

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

Spatial metadata

Region: North West (European Region)
County or Unitary authority: Lancashire (County)
District: Lancaster (District)
To be known as: Carnforth

Spatial coordinates

Grid reference source: From a paper map
Unmasked grid reference accurate to a 100 metre square.

Discovery metadata

Method of discovery: Metal detector
General landuse: Cultivated land
Specific landuse: Character undetermined

References cited

No references cited so far.

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Timeline of associated dates

Audit data

Recording Institution: LANCUM
Created: About one month ago
Updated: 21 days ago

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