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from Ravelston, Edinburgh Midlothian

Postcard of Axehead.
© National Museums Scotland


This bronze axehead is one of at least two found in a hoard at Ravelston near Edinburgh in Midlothian. It dates from between 2250 and 1900 BC.

The flat axehead is the most common form in the Early Bronze Age. As with most flat axeheads, it is undecorated. However, its surface has been tinned, giving it a distinctive 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: 000-100-104-041-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 6
Date: 2250 - 1900 BC
Between 2250 and 1900 BC
Material: Bronze; with traces of tinning
Dimensions: 7 x 3.5"
What: Axe, flat
Where: Scotland, Midlothian, Edinburgh, Ravelston
Description: Bronze flat axe from Ravelston, Edinburgh, 2250 - 1900 BC
  • Coles, John M. Scottish Early Bronze Age metalwork. Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, 101 (1968-9), 1-110, esp. pp 22, 83, 106. 
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