Jadeite Axe Head

Polished Jadeite axehead found two kilometres over the Wiltshire border, in Breamore, Hampshire. It was acquired by the Museum in 1916. This delicate, fragile object was not a functional tool or weapon, but a symbol of status and power, which had been traded over long distances. It dates from the Neolithic period, between 6,000 and 4,000 years ago. It is likely that the axehead was brought over to south west England around 3900 BC, by an immigrant farming community from Normandy or Northern Brittany.

New research shows that the stone used to make the axe comes from the Italian Alps, and a similar one is now in the collections of the British Museum. You can hear more about these axes on the BBC History of the World programme.


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Jadeite axe head


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