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The Bronze Age

Axes & Maces

Copper flat axe, Stair Estate

Period:
Bronze Age
Description:

These are prehistoric copper axes. They were made between 2200 BC and 2000 BC.

They were found on Boreland farm, Inch, Stranraer. We don't know when the discovery was made but the axes were exhibited in Glasgow in 1911 by the Earl of Stair. A lot of archaeological objects were found during agricultural improvements on the Stair estates in the 19th century and kept in a private collection at Lochinch Castle. In 1964 this collection - including the Boreland axes - was given to Stranraer Museum.

Flat copper axes like this are some of the earliest metal objects in Britain. They were in use at the start of the Bronze Age, around 2200 BC.

Archaeologists think that most copper flat axes found in Scotland were actually made in Ireland. But it is possible that some axes from Dumfries and Galloway were made using locally mined copper. In the late 18th century a hoard of prehistoric copper ingots or bars was found at Tonderghie near Whithorn. The find spot was close to the only large deposit of copper ore in Wigtownshire and raises the intriguing possibility that copper was being mined here during the Bronze Age.

Place of Production:
Ireland?
Materials/Media:
copper
Dimensions:
length 175mm
Source:
Stranraer Museum
Accession number:
WIWMS1964.8
Digital Number:
SRAM012n
Creation Date:
around 2000 BC
Copyright:
Dumfries & Galloway Council