An exciting axe!

DSC_0039Last week I found an axe head languishing in a drawer in the metals store. It instantly struck a a chord, as it was the shape of a late Bronze Age looped socketed axe, but was rusty, so must have been made from iron. I took it back to my desk and looked it up on the database, and found a more-or-less empty record. Subsequent digging around, and a few emails later, it turned out to be very well researched, and with good reason! C14 dating of wood from inside the socket show it to be 500-800BC, making it (as far as I know) the oldest positively dated iron object in Britain! Why we had no record of all this research and the publications which followed I do not know, but the situation has been rectified, and this morning Sarah, our part-time archaeological conservator (who is also completing a PhD at UCL) and I looked at it together to decide if we could put it on display. I’m very pleased to say that we can, and we will, although maybe not until next year.
Now I need to pack up my selection of handling objects and drive over to the Oxfordshire Museum in Woodstock to help get everything ready for the opening day of the Festival of British Archaeology, where will have object handling, children’s craft activities and the Iron Age re-enactment group Dumnonika. I’m looking forward to meeting them and having a chat…