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Council for British Archaeology (2007) CBA Research Reports [data-set]. York: Archaeology Data Service [distributor] (doi:10.5284/1000332)
ISBN 0 900312 63 7
Papers from a conference in 1977 demonstrate the progress made in petrological studies in particular, but also discuss the uses of ethnography evidence in understanding axe distributions. The history of implement petrology in Britain is outlined by W F Grimes (pp 1-4) from its formal beginnings in 1952. W A Cummins (5-12), in discussing distribution studies of the eight most abundant stone axe groups, pays special attention to the unusual patterns of Groups I and VI which appear to indicate a two-stage distribution process. Radiocarbon dates form the basis of I F Smith's chronology (13-22) of British implements of Neo-BA; for shafthole implements there is some additional help from typology. Further development of the typological theme comes from F E S Roe (23-48) on shafthole implements (battle axes, mace heads, etc) particularly as the increasing availability of petrological identifications lends improved confidence.
From the Continent, C-T Le Roux (49-56) presents new data for some of the Breton petrological groups, and discusses them in terms of social organization and axe production. Linear Pottery sites in the Netherlands have yielded adzes of various rock types from Central Europe, the Siebengebirge and Eifel, as discussed by C C Bakels and C E S Arps (57-64). In Britain again, T G Manby (65-81) presents a typological and distributional study of Yorkshire flint and stone axes, of which 700 have been sectioned; he also discusses the ?seasonal (?transhumance) movements which might have brought Lake District axes to Yorkshire, and considers the problem of modern axe 'forgeries'. The flint and stone axes of the E Midlands are C N Moore's topic (82-6), while a field survey made on the Langdale and Scafell Pike axe factory sites in 1961 is described by C H Houlder (87-9).
The fine jade and jadeite implements of western Europe are studied by A R Woolley et al (90-6); their typology in terms of length, width and thickness ratios is worked out and related to the constituent pyroxenes as determined by electron microprobe analysis. Axe technology is discussed by G R Coope (98-101) who points out that while some rocks could be flaked and leave characteristic debris of axe-making, others had to be pecked into shape, leaving only dust residues. Experimental work on hafting and using stone axes is reported by A Harding & R Young (102-5), this is a long-tem forest clearance project. John Coles is also experimenting with stone axes for making wicker hurdles as found in the Somerset Levels (106-7).
Finally there are two ethnographic contributions: Pat Phillips (108-12) examines evidence from recent contexts of production, acquisition and consumption of stone axes in New Guinea, while prehistoric Australian stone exploitation and exchange systems are the topic of Isabel McBryde (113-26, with petrology by A Watchman).
|Stone axe studies: archaeological, petrological, experimental and ethnographic (CBA Research Report 23)||5 Mb|