Show Navigation

The Bronze Age

Axes & Maces

Mace Head, Lochmaben

Period:
Bronze Age
Description:

Collected by a Mr John Smith, and on loan from the Antiquarian Society, this short ovoid mace head has a shaft hole which is slightly off centre. It has a rounded butt which tapers out to a rounded blade and has been polished.  

 

Mace heads 

Mace heads were designed to give a crushing blow in battle. Most mace heads from this area have a rounded outline with a straight sided shaft hole for hafting. It is possible that the technique of boring shaft holes through stone was learned from the makers of battle axes. They are also often associated with burials.

Producing tools like these took time. After selecting an appropriate rock, a hammer was used to create the rough shape. The Bronze Age stone mason would have continued pecking at the rock, using smaller and finer tools as the work progressed. The shaft hole would have been made by drilling from both sides, perhaps with a section of antler or bone in a bow drill.

 

Many of these implements have a polished surface, which was achieved by rubbing on a wetted stone slab, perhaps using sand as an abrasive.

Place of Discovery:
Lochmaben (exact location unknown)
Materials/Media:
Stone
Dimensions:
length: 75 mm width: 58 mm depth: 48 mm
Source:
Dumfries Museum & Camera Obscura
Accession number:
DUMFM:1948.4
Digital Number:
RPD0105
References:
ROE, Fiona E S - "The Battle Axes, Mace Heads and Axe Hammers from South West Scotland", TDGNHAS, 3rd series, Volume 44, p57=80, 1967