Bronze Age palstave

This find came in from Peter Vernon. I was told that it turned up three weeks since and Peter said it was only his second Bronze Age find in 40 years of detecting. Well, I’ve been searching for 26 years and have yet to unearth a single item dating from the Bronze Age. One of the sites my club have access to gives one up roughly every five years, which proves there was little activity during the Bronze Age in that particular area.

Peter’s find is an axe head of the palstave type. This was the next stage of the evolution of axe heads after the flat and the flanged type.

Following on was the looped palstave and finally the socketed type.  


This example has a hole at the bottom of the recess, which is likely to be a casting fault rather than a purposeful modification. As with all things, the state of preservation is the most important factor in relation to commercial value. The casting fault wouldn’t make much difference to the value but on both sides of this axe head the surfaces are rough and corroded and this would put off some collectors.

As it stands, I’d suggest a price range of £70 to £90. It might not be worth much in cash terms but I’m sure that to Peter it will be a find he always treasures.

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