PAUL D STEWART / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PAUL D STEWART / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Ten Western European Bronze age axes showing the broad 'evolution' of style from the copper age (far left) to late bronze age/early iron age (far right). This spans about 3000 - 500 BC. Shown are simple flat axes from the early bronze age (1, 2, 3) with progressive flaring of the cutting edge through casting and hammering. A flanged flat axe with raised edges (4) and median winged and stopped palstaves (5, 6) from the middle bronze age. A stopped palstave (7) and a wrapped bronze axe, (8) middle to late bronze age. Finally socketed axes with the top (9) showing patterning mimicing earlier axe types and perhaps showing the development towards a socketed head. 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 which varied regionally.
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