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The Bronze Age

Axes & Maces

Stone Mace, Slacks Farm, Tinwald

Bronze Age

Found in a ploughed field by Samuel Cruthers in 1875, this stone mace is ovoid in shape with a shaft hole running through the centre. All the edges of the Mace are rounded and appear to have been polished.


Mace heads were designed to give a crushing blow in battle. Most mace heads from this area have a rounded outline with a straight sided shaft hole for hafting. It is possible that the technique of boring shaft holes through stone was learned from the makers of battle axes. They are also often associated with burials.


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.

Place of Discovery:
Slacks Farm, Tinwald
stone & quartz
length: 68 mm width: 45 mm depth: 41 mm
Dumfries Museum & Camera Obscura
Accession number:
Digital Number:
RCAHMS site record:
ROE, Fiona E S - "The Battle Axes, Mace Heads and Axe Hammers from South West Scotland", TDGNHAS, 3rd series, Volume 44, p57=80, 1967