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from Upper Towie, Aberdeenshire

Postcard of Axehead.
© National Museums Scotland


This tinned bronze axehead was found in a cairn at Upper Towie in Aberdeenshire. 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 2250 and 1900 BC.

However, it was tinned which would have given it a shiny silvery appearance.

Axeheads were symbols of power and prestige for a long period, probably with religious significance as well. Tinning was a technique used by the early metalworkers to make axeheads extra special.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-100-034-278-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 103
Date: Between 2250 and 1900 BC
Material: Tin bronze
Dimensions: 7.06" L x 4.13"
What: Palstave
Where: Scotland, Aberdeenshire, Upper Towie
Description: Tin bronze palstave from a cairn above Upper Towie
  • 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, 80. 
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