PAUL D STEWART / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY PAUL D STEWART / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
European Bronze Age axe heads. Three palstave axes of different form from the Middle Bronze Age (around 1500 BC to 1200 BC). These forms broadly superseded the Early Bronze Age flat axes and were often cast in two-part moulds. At left is a late palstave axe found in south-eastern Britain (possibly imported in prehistory from France) with a tie loop to stop the handle from carrying forward onto the blade. At centre is a stoppered axe found in Scotland with small hammered median retaining flanges or wings. At right is a median winged axe, verging on palstave, from northern France with enclosing flanges which could be hammered onto the cleft wood mount. The temporal progression of style is not always clear on such axes, as styles varied with region, and the times at which they were used overlap. Palstave axes were generally superseded by socketed axes.
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