Stone axe, Kirkcolm

Kirkcolm, Wigtownshire
This flint axe was made and used about 8,000 years ago during the Middle Stone Age or Mesolithic period. It was discovered by chance on the shore at The Wig, Kirkcolm in the early 1990s. It is just under 140mm (5 ½ inches) in length and has been made by chipping or knapping a flint cobble. Fixed to a wooden handle it would have made a very effective multi-purpose carpentry tool. Axes and adzes like this are quite common in Northern Ireland. There are extensive flint deposits along the Antrim coast which have been used for tool making since the earliest times. But similar flint deposits are absent in Scotland and no other axes of this kind have ever been found here. So the axe from The Wig is unique in Scotland. It seems likely that it was made in Ulster around 6,000 BC and taken across the North Channel to Wigtownshire. This makes it the one of the earliest examples of contact and trade between the two countries. But there may be another explanation. During the 19th century huge amounts of Antrim limestone and chalk were brought to Wigtownshire. It was carried as ships' ballast and then burnt to make agricultural lime. Is it possible that The Wig axe was brought accidentally from Northern Ireland with a cargo of limestone? 
Object no :
Collection :
Creator :
Place of Production :
Northern Ireland
Dimensions :
length 137mm, breadth 44mm
Materials :
Location :
Kirkcolm, Wigtownshire
Related site :
Accession number :
WIWMS 1993.3
Copyright :
Dumfries & Galloway Council
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