Battle axehead

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Postcard of Battle axehead.
© National Museums Scotland

Battle axehead

This stone battle axehead dates from around 2200 to 2000 BC. Its findspot is not known. Although battle axes could have been used as weapons, like recent Native American clubs, they were principally symbols of power, indicating high status.

This battle axehead has a blade, a rounded butt, and a shafthole positioned towards the butt end. The top and bottom surfaces of the battle axehead are parallel. The stone head would have been fixed onto the top of an organic handle by means of its shafthole.

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: 000-190-004-783-C
Image Rights Holder: National Museums Scotland
Project: 0098: National Museums Scotland
Project description | View all records in project
Ref: National Museums Scotland  X.AH 46
Date: Between 2200 and 2000 BC
Material: Granite
Dimensions: 4.50" x 1.50"
What: Axe hammer
Where: Unknown
Description: Axe hammer of polished granite, locality unknown
  • Roe, F.E.S. The Battle-Axe series in Britain. Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society, 32 (1966), 199-245. 
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