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From Skara Brae, Orkney

Postcard of Cleaver.
© National Museums Scotland


This stone cleaver was found at Skara Brae on Orkney. It dates from between 3100 and 2500 BC. It was probably used to dismember carcasses during butchery (although it could equally have been used as a weapon if the need arose).

The handle and head of the T-shaped hatchet or cleaner were manufactured from a single piece of stone. There is slight damage to the blades.

Skara Brae is a well-preserved Neolithic 'village', with plentiful evidence for everyday activities such as food preparation.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-100-102-569-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0098: National Museums Scotland
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  X.HA 677
Date: 3100 - 2500 BC
Between 3100 and 2500 BC
Material: Stone; axe-like; head and handle all in one piece; edges of head damaged
Dimensions: 7.50" L; head 6.10" W
What: Hatchet
Where: Scotland, Orkney, Skaill, Skara Brae
Description: Handled stone hatchet, from Skara Brae, 3100 - 2500 BC
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