Ancient Art, Antiquities & Ancient Coins

Bronze Age Socketed Axe

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Start price: £60

Estimated price: £120 - £200

Auction house commission: 15%

VAT: On commission only

A cast bronze axe head. The head is socketed, with an ovoid opening for a handle. The blade has rebated s decoration on each side. There is a collar around the socket. The hollow socket was a technological innovation, allowing economical use of bronze while still making a strong weapon; 93mm, 192 grams. Very Fine condition. From the private collection of European collector; acquired on the German art market around 2000.Weapons like this one were found at large hill forts, new places in the late Bronze Age landscape that dominated the area around them. These were not forts as we understand them today, but instead large, enclosed spaces, usually located on prominent topographical features, and they represent a dramatic change in northern European prehistory. They were the form of urban settlements of their day, housing up to 1000 people, in contrast to the much smaller communities (often less than 50 people) that populated the landscape elsewhere. Weaponry like this axe head give us clues about the evolving nature of Bronze Age society, setting the stage for the more complex Iron Age.