Bronze items (generally made from an alloy of copper and tin) appeared in Britain from c 2350 BC. This complete socketed axehead is one of over fifty artefacts from a hoard unearthed in c 1876 when a country house was built in Yattendon Park. As well as axes there were spearheads, knives, chisels, gouges, sword fragments, and pieces of flat bronze sheet. The Victorian interpretation was that a metal-worker had put these items aside as scrap, but there may have been ritual rather than practical reasons for the deposit. The hoard is interesting because, although most items date to the Late Bronze Age, one of the flat axes is much earlier, and the palstaves (flanged axes) and some spearheads are Middle Bronze Age. Socketed axes like this example with a side loop were a new development in hafting techniques.
Further information about the archaeological site is available on the HER: www.heritagegateway.org.uk/Gateway/Results_Single.aspx?uid=MWB11802&resourceID=1030
HER – The Historic Environment Record (HER) is a register of all known archaeological and historical sites in the unitary authority of West Berkshire.
Period: c 2350-800 BC