H 290 x W 205 mm
Illustrated throughout in colour and black & white (86 colour plates)
Published Jan 2018
This volume seeks to re-assess the significance accorded to the body of stone and flint axe-heads imported into Britain from the Continent which have until now often been poorly understood, overlooked and undervalued in Neolithic studies.
Preface and acknowledgements; Chapter One: Introduction; Chapter Two: Re-connecting British and continental research traditions: dynamic approaches to the relationship between axe-heads and identity; Chapter Three: ‘Afterlives’; Chapter Four: An investigation into the contexts of jade axe-heads found in Britain, using GIS terrain modelling of HER data; Chapter Five: ‘Projet Breton’ and the search for Group X; Chapter Six: ‘Crudwell’ type, ‘Smerrick’ type, and marbled all-over-polished axe-heads in Neolithic Britain; Chapter Seven: The rectangular-sectioned axe-head in Britain and its implications for understanding the Neolithic; Chapter Eight: Answering the original questions; Appendix One: Table of all known published jade axe-heads with attributed British find-spot locations (correct until 2017). Shaded in grey are axe-heads with ‘precise’ find-spot locations, included in Appendix Two); Appendix Two: Find-spot locations, and archaeology of Mesolithic to Roman date within a 1000m radius, for 43 jade axe-heads found in Britain, presented as 41 GIS terrain models with accompanying text; Appendix Three: A table of all known Group X axe-heads and a table of Breton fibrolite axe-heads with attributed British find-spot locations; Appendix Four: Table of all published ‘Crudwell-Smerrick’ type axe-heads; Appendix Five: Table of all known axe-heads with rectangular sections which have British find-spot locations attributed. Highlighted in grey are axe-heads of probable Scandinavian origin. This is a summary of the information presented in Appendix Six; Appendix Six: Corpus of all known axe-heads with rectangular sections which have British find-spot locations attributed (summarised in Appendix Five); Appendix Seven: Caches and hoards of axe-heads in Britain. Please note, almost all of the data included in this corpus has been taken directly from Pitts 1996, Appendix One, with a few additions by the author; Bibliography; Index
'It is excellent to see all the disparate data collected together with a persistent reminder of the problem of fakes and manuports (most axe-heads are stray finds, others form part of donated antiquarian collections, or, these days, bought on eBay); it allows, for the first time, an overview of the ‘oddities’. This clearly shows that a re-examination of the material is overdue, and the need for the original lithological descriptions/attributions to be confirmed is the author’s constant and timely cry (but for safe progress it must to be done by a competent petrographer). The questions this book (re-)raises are important and are clarified. Most notably (placing jade to one side), why, after the early Neolithic, were so very few axes imported?' – Rob Ixer (2018): Current Archaeology #343
‘Overall, this book provides a wealth of interesting ideas and observations of the British Neolithic and its relations with its nearest neighbours. It highlights what the author has rightly identified as a greatly neglected class of objects… For those with a fascination for stone tools, this provides an enjoyable wander through the problems and pitfalls, but also the considerable potential, of axeheads with possible Continental associations.’ – Barry Bishop (2019): Archaeological Journal, DOI: 10.1080/00665983.2019.1591070