This stone axe-hammer was found at Roslin. It is made of greenstone.
Axe-hammers were heavy-duty tools, ranging in length from 150 to 350 mm. They feature shaftholes for a wooden handle. They could have been used as massive wedges.
Axe-hammers probably date to between 2100 and 1400 BC. Although this is the Bronze Age, the use of stone tools was still prolific.
This axe-hammer is asymmetrical, and has been damaged on one side around the shafthole.
The function of axe-hammers has been debated. Traces of use suggest that the butt end was struck and the blade end pushed through a resistant material.
The narrow handle would have been too weak to act like an axe handle, so may have been for steadying the tool in position.
Use as a heavy-duty wedge seems the most likely.
Studies have shown there are unexplained concentrations of axe-hammers in south-west Scotland and north-west England.
Photo: National Museums Scotland/Scran
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