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Collectors & Explorers

Dr Thomas Boyle Grierson

Stone axehead, Dalbeattie


Description Neolithic polished stone axe head. Large with rounded profile tapering to a pointed butt. Sharp curved blade. The surface has several chips,including the blade. Fined grained, green with black specks. This object has traces of an old Victorian era collectors label.

Despite the large demand for axeheads for forest clearance, neolithic peoples took great trouble to obtains the best material, and good stone was traded over considerable distances. The rock had to be strong and capable of bearing a sharp edge without wearing down or shattering. Underground seams of flint were exploited at places such as Grime's Graves in Norfolk where red deer antlers were used as picks, and shovels were made from the shoulder blades of cattle. In the north and west, igneous rocks were used, and often traded into flint country because of their superior strength. Amongst the most important sources of rock were Great Langdale in Cumbria, Graig Lwyd in Wales, Tievebulliagh Hill in Antrim and Penwith in Cornwall.


Stone Implements, &c

1. Axe of Felstone, 8 1/4 inches long by 3 inches across the cutting end, sharp at both ends, with flat sides. Found at Dalbeattie.

Dr Grierson's Manuscript "Catalogue of Museum"

423. Stone Celt. Measures 8 inches by 3 inches. Presented by Mr William McBride of Dalbeattie, 1863. [sketch] 


Place of Discovery:
Haugh of Urr
L 195mm, B 37mm, W 75mm
Dumfries Museum & Camera Obscura
Accession number:
Digital Number:
Dumfries & Galloway Council