Brand new, and only 3500 years old...

April 14, 2018

The Middle Bronze Age Palstave Axehead is always a pleasure to own. Hold something like this in your hand and you can see why they regularly survive over three millennia of ploughing and land cultivation: they're built to last. 

 

But for all their solidity and robustness, there's a pleasing sleekness to them that belies their great age. Whether they are looped or not, or their blades form a wicked crescent, or as in the example here, a gentle flare; they all have that same graceful profile; that axeness that shouts 'Bronze Age.'

 

 

 

Timeless Galleries are pleased to offer a beautiful example of a Middle Bronze Age Palstave axehead. This 3500yr old piece is quite unusual - the presence of casting-lines show that the axehead was lost soon after it was made, and was probably never even used. 

 

And, just possibly, here's why...

 

Axes like this are often found in hoards (sometimes termed 'founder's hoards'), typically with other bronze tools, weapons and ingots. It is thought that one possible explanation of these 'mini-hoards' may be that the bronzesmiths of the era would travel from village to village selling their wares. However, as bronze was a valuable commodity, the travelling smiths would bury their stock prior to entering each village, and take just a small selection with them to avoid robbery. 

 

But, if something untoward should then happen to that Bronze Age artisan...

 

It's impossible to say if that explanation of 'founder's hoards' is true or not, but it might explain how something like this piece came to be buried in the Wiltshire countryside without seeing a single day's work. 

 

Lucky old axe...

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