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Jadeite Axe

This axe is made of jadeite, and has been brought from high in the north Italian Alps. The ‘signature’ of the stone has been analysed by researchers from the international Projet Jade and they have located the actual boulder from which this axe is made.  The axe was brought to Britain about 6,000 years ago by people from one of the earliest farming communities. Jadeite is harder than steel, and the axe took over 1,000 hours to make. The axe may have been placed in a spring or in the River Avon, perhaps as an offering.

The exact details of its discovery are unclear, but it is thought to have been found just across the Hampshire border in Breamore. It came to the Museum as part of the collection of Mr Joshua W. Brooke who said in a letter to the society on 10 August 1927: ‘It was found at Marsh Farm, Breamore, by Mrs Jeans, the mother of the late Mark Jeans. She used it as a paper knife but as it tore more leaves than it cut she threw it out the window and it fell on a stone and the end was chipped.’

Image courtesy of the National Museums of Scotland / Project Jade.

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