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from the water of Leith, Dean Bridge, Edinburgh

Postcard of Axehead.
© National Museums Scotland


This bronze axehead was found in the water of Leith during the building of Dean Bridge in Edinburgh. It dates from between 800 and 700 BC.

The axehead has a quadrilateral socket mouth with rounded corners. Both faces of the axehead are decorated with six vertical grooves. A wooden handle would have fitted into the axehead's socket. A thong could also have attached the axehead to the socket through the loop.

Axeheads were symbols of power and prestige for a long period, probably with religious significance as well. They were sometimes buried or deposited in watery places as offerings to the gods.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-100-104-707-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0098: National Museums Scotland
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  X.DE 116
Date: 800 - 700 BC
Between 800 and 700 BC
Material: Bronze; loop; quadrilateral socket mouth; slight moulding on outer edge of socket; six vertical grooves on each face
Dimensions: 4.25" L x 2.13"
What: Axe, socketed
Where: Scotland, Midlothian, Edinburgh, Dean (In Water of Leith at Dean Bridge)
Description: Bronze socketed axe with loop, quadrilateral socket mouth with rounded corners and six vertical grooves on each face, from the Water of Leith, Dean Bridge, Edinburgh, 800 - 700 BC
  • Coles, John M. Scottish late Bronze Age metalwork: typology, distributions and chronology. Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, 93 (1959-1960), pp 16-134, esp. p 66. 
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