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Axe-hammer

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Axe-hammer
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Axe-hammers are heavy-duty stone tools, ranging in length from 150 to 350 mm. They have shaftholes for a wooden handle. They could have been used as massive wedges, and they probably date to between 2100 and 1400 BC. The place where this example was found is not known.

This axe-hammer is pear-shaped. Its 'upper' surface is slightly concave, and its 'lower' surface has two large flake scars.

The function of axe-hammers has been debated. Traces of use suggest that the butt end was struck and the blade end pushed through a resistant material. The narrow handle would have been too weak to act like an axe handle, so may have been for steadying the tool in position. Use as a heavy-duty wedge seems the most likely. There are unexplained concentrations of axe-hammers in south-west Scotland and north-west England.

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