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from Broubster, Reay, Caithness, Brubster

Postcard of Axehead.
© National Museums Scotland


This bronze axehead was found while cutting a drain at Broubster in Caithness. It is an example of the most common form of flat bronze axehead from the Early Bronze Age, found throughout Scotland. It dates from between 2050 and 1900 BC.

As with most of the flat axeheads of this shape, this example is without decoration. The hammering shows the first stages in creating flanges.

The techniques used to make flat axeheads are simple but may have seemed magical to early people. First the shape was carved into a suitable stone. Metal was melted in a crucible and poured into the mould which was covered and allowed to cool. Then irregularities were hammered away and the edge was sharpened.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-100-034-265-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0098: National Museums Scotland
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  X.DA 78
Date: Between 2050 and 1900 BC
Material: Bronze; shows incipient flanges
Dimensions: 4.4" L, 1" W, 2.1" across cutting edge
What: Axe, flat
Where: Scotland, Caithness, Shebster, Broubster
Description: Axe, flat
  • Coles, John M. Scottish Early Bronze Age metalwork. Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, 101 (1968-9), 1-110, esp. pp 15-26, 81. 
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