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18 November 2012
Bronze Age axeheads X-rayed in Jersey

An X-ray of the Bronze Age pot found in a Jersey field last month, carried out at the island's airport, has found a further 21 axeheads in a discovery which could shed new light on the way people lived 3,000 years ago.
     The original excavation, carried out after metal detectorist Ken Rive reported the find on a plot of land in Trinity, confirmed two socketed axeheads inside the damaged ancient pot. Air pockets between the axes suggest that soil may have concealed the rest of the weapons as the pot gradually decayed.
     "A trial X-ray fluorescence scan was carried out by staff from Cranfield University on the first two axes," said a statement by Olga Finch, Jersey Heritage's Curator of Archaeology, and Neil Mahrer, the Conservator for the group. "This shows that they contain a very high lead content - almost 55 percent. This throws some doubt on whether these axes were actually functional tools, as that amount of lead would not have given the axe a very sharp edge. Maybe, therefore, they were objects of prestige - something to own and show off."
     All the axes are believed to date from the late Bronze Age and they will now be removed from the pot for further investigation.
Edited from Culture24 (13 November 2012)

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