European axes, Early to Late Bronze Age

European axes, Early to Late Bronze Age

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Credit: PAUL D STEWART/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: European axes, Early to Late Bronze Age. Range of European Bronze Age axes showing the broad change of style from the Copper Age (far left) to the Late Bronze Age and Early Iron Age (far right). This spans a period of time from about 3000 BC to 500 BC. Shown at left are simple flat axes from the Early Bronze Age (1, 2, 3) with progressive flaring of the cutting edge. From the Middle Bronze Age is a flanged flat axe with raised edges (4), along with a median winged (5) and a stopped palstave axe (6). From the Middle to Late Bronze Age is a wrapped bronze axe and stoppered flared palstave axe (7, 8). At far right is a socketed axe from the Late Bronze Age (9) with the top showing atavistic patterning mimicking earlier axe types. The final Portland-style axe (10) is patterned copper alloy, perhaps votive or currency, from the Late Bronze Age to Early Iron Age. These trends are general, and included many overlapping styles and patterns.

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