An extremely fine example of a European copper-alloy Bronze Age ceremonial axe head. The weapon features an unusual blade, pinched to the centre to terminate in a flaring edge, and a shaft hole for a wooden handle to have been inserted.
European Bronze Age farmers differed from their stone-cutting predecessors – they used horses and chariots to work; kept flocks of sheep for woollen clothing; and used bronze as a standard commodity of exchange. Technological development was rapid; the manufacture of tools and weapons increased; and specialised equipment emerged for shaving, woodworking, and metalworking. Axes such as this one would have been used primarily for clearing woodland and for shaping timber, but would also have proved useful in battles.
Date: Circa 1200-900 BC
Period: European Bronze Age
Provenance: Ex. Jon Lawton collection, London; formerly in Numisart Gallery collection, Munich, 2001.