Guest Post: Axe head found with the Minelab Safari

Axe HeadI just love metal detecting based mysteries and recently came across a fascinating one. My friend Steve recovered an axe-head from just over two feet down in a layer of hard pack gravel. He was using his Minelab Safari metal detector and, when I saw him recover this artifact, I was astounded at the depth from which it had come. All I can say is that the conditions that day must have been optimum, either that or there are some non-ferrous impurities in the axe head.

The site that the axe head came from has yielded plenty of Roman, a few Celtic and many Saxon coins and artifacts. The mystery in question in this case is the axe head itself – has anyone ever seen an axe-head like this? It is made of iron and is complete. Its flanged cutting edge is similar to some Bronze Age examples we have found and it appears to have half a socket.

Axe Head Reverse

We were wondering if it might be the product of a late Bronze Age mould maker, or perhaps it could be a transitional axe, as iron was just coming to the forefront during that time. We would be delighted if anyone could date this item for us, and also if any detectorists could confirm if they have either found or seen anything like this before, as we certainly haven’t.

By Julian Evan-Hart

About Julian Evan-Hart
Julian is from Hertfordshire, England and has always been interested in fossils and antiquities. Julian has written a number of books on metal detecting, and is an avid user of Minelab products.

2 Responses to Guest Post: Axe head found with the Minelab Safari

  1. Roelof Klasens the ax
    If we analyze the iconographic data from the Hallstatt period and archaeological finds, the ax was probably still used as a weapon during the early Iron Age. In the beginning of the Iron Age bronze ax sheath was prevalent, but would slowly move on to an iron version. Such axes could also be used as a throwing weapon (like the later Frankish throwing ax).
    In the middle and late Iron Age this weapon seems to have disappeared. From the get done At the end of the Late Iron Age axes in Germanic place look back to gain popularity.…/oorlogsvoering… look in about the middle of the page…

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