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Collectors & Explorers

Dr Thomas Boyle Grierson

Battle axe, Land Farm, Tynron,

Description:

From the collection of Dr Grierson, this Battle axe found near Tynron c1800 was discovered in a cairn burial. This Polished axe has a shaft hole in the centre, and has a slight hour glass shape with rounded butt and broad curving blade. It is formed from a coarse grained stone matrix of black and grey crystals and is a superb example of an early type of battle axe.

 

Battle axes were designed as weapons of war, with a cutting edge at one end, a hammer at the other and a central hourglass shaft hole for hafting. They are associated with the Beaker people and are sometimes found with burial urns. They are relatively uncommon in south west Scotland, perhaps because the high and difficult terrain deterred conflict.

 

Producing tools like these took time. After selecting an appropriate rock, a hammer was used to create the rough shape. The Bronze Age stone mason would have continued pecking at the rock, using smaller and finer tools as the work progressed. The shaft hole would have been made by drilling from both sides, perhaps with a section of antler or bone in a bow drill.

 

Many of these implements have a polished surface, which was achieved by rubbing on a wetted stone slab, perhaps using sand as an abrasive.

Dimensions:
length: 155 mm width: 55 mm depth: 50 mm
Source:
Dumfries Museum & Camera Obscura
Accession number:
DUMFM:1965.352
Digital Number:
RPD0115
RCAHMS site record:
Land Farm, Tynron