The socketed hammer is only rarely found in Middle Bronze Age contexts and is a more defined feature of Late Bronze Age hoards. Rowlands (1976: 45) states that, for this very reason, "it would be unwise to date stray finds to the MBA". With regard to decoration, they are found with or without a single rib band, and in the case of a few hoards in Britanny, some hammers were found with chevron decoration.

Socketed Hammer

Example = HAMP-2CB8E2, SUSS-2D5992
Date = 1400 - 750 BC
Distribution = Britain
Comment = Socketed hammers appeared at the same time as many other types of tools and were probably used as a woodworking tool. The socketed hammers would have had some sort of handle made of an organic material. A number of different sizes have been found from slender to quite large and there are just under 20 on the Portable Antiquities Database.


  • O'Connor, B. (1980) `Cross-Channel relations in the later Bronze Age: relations between Britain, NE France and the Low Countries during the Later Bronze Age and the Early Iron Age, with particular reference to the metalwork' BAR International Series British Archaeological Reports Oxford S91(i-ii).
  • Rowlands, M.J. (1976) 'The Production and Distribution of Metalwork in the Middle Bronze Age in Southern Britain: Part ii'. Oxford: British Archaeological Reports.