Battle axehead

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from Shetland

Postcard of Battle axehead.
© National Museums Scotland

Battle axehead

This stone battle axehead was found in Shetland. It dates from between 1750 and 1400 BC.

The battle axehead has a broad blade and flat butt.

Battle axes were adapted from Continental Europe around the time when metallurgy was introduced to Scotland. They were originally mounted on handles. Although they could have functioned as weapons, their main purpose was to be symbols of power.

Record details

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Online ID: 000-180-001-688-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0504: National Museums Scotland Part 2
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  X.AH 126
Date: Between 1750 and 1400 BC
Material: Stone, dark brown
Dimensions: 4.19" x 2.00" x 2.13" across cutting edge
What: Axe, battle
Who: Duns Collection
Where: Scotland, Shetland
Description: Battle-axe of dark brown stone, from Shetland
  • Clough, T.H.McK. and Cummins, W.A. (eds). Stone Axe Studies, Volume 2. London: Council for British Archaeology (Research Report 67), 1988. 
  • Fenton, M.B. The petrological identification of stone battle axes and axe-hammers from Scotland. In: Clough, T.H.McK. and Cummins, W.A. (eds). Stone Axe Studies. London: Council for British Archaeology (Research Report 67), 1988, pp 92-132. 
  • Roe, F.E.S. The Battle-Axe series in Britain. Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society, 32 (1966), 199-245. 
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