Davis, V., & Edmonds, M. (Eds.), 2011. Stone Axe Studies III. Oxford, Oxbow Books.

A PDF of this volume is available here, hard copies may be purchased here, and citation links for each chapter are available here.


This volume builds upon the model of the first Stone Axe Studies volume published in 1979. It explores how scholars from various parts of the world currently approach these distinctive items. Some papers are united by specific material, such as those working on Jadeite axe blades in western and Central Europe. For others, the link is analytical (e.g., the development of new geochemical techniques), contextual (e.g., work on techniques of hafting or on patterns of deposition) or conceptual (e.g., the uses made of ethnohistoric and related models). Taken together, they document the state of the art in stone axe research in Britain and abroad, at the same time providing a much-needed basis for comparative study and for debate regarding analytical and interpretative issues.


  • Introduction
  1. The experienced axe. Chronology, condition and context of TRB-axes in western Norway (Knut Andreas Bergsvik and Einar Østmo)
  2. The Nøstvet Axe (Håkon Glørstad)
  3. The evolution of Neolithic and Chalcolithic woodworking tools and the intensification of human production: axes, adzes and chisels from the Southern Levant (Ran Barkai)
  4. Eclogite or jadeitite: The two colours involved in the transfer of alpine axeheads in western Europe (Pierre Pétrequin, Alison Sheridan, Serge Cassen, Michel Errera, Estelle Gauthier, Lutz Klassen, Nicolas le Maux, Yvan Pailler, Anne-marie Pétrequin and Michel Rossy)
  5. Power tools: Symbolic considerations of stone axe production and exchange in 19th century south-eastern Australia (Adam Brumm)
  6. Social and economic organisation of stone axe production and distribution in the western Mediterranean (Roberto Risch)
  7. The felsite quarries of North Roe, Shetland – An overview (Torben Ballin)
  8. Misty mountain hop: Prehistoric stone working in south-west Wales (Timothy Darvill)
  9. Production and diffusion of axes in the Seine valley (François Giligny, Françoise Bostyn, Jérémie Couderc, Harold Lethrosne, Nicolas Le Maux, Adrienne Lo Carmine and Cécile Riquier)
  10. A time and place for the Belmont Hoard (Vin Davis and Mark Edmonds)
  11. The prehistoric axe factory at Sanganakallu-Kupgal (Bellary District), southern India (Roberto Risch, Nicole Boivin, Michael Petraglia, David Gómez-Gras, Ravi Korisettar and Dorian Fuller)
  12. The ritual use of axes (Lars Larsson)
  13. Primary and secondary raw material preferences in the production of Neolithic polished stone tools in northwest Turkey (Onur Özbek)
  14. Stone-working traditions in the prehistoric Aegean: The production and consumption of edge tools at Late Neolithic Makriyalos (Christina Tsoraki)
  15. The Mynydd Rhiw quarry site: Recent work and its implications (Steve Burrow)
  16. Graig Lwyd (Group VII) assemblages from Parc Bryn Cegin, Llandygai, Gwynedd, Wales – analysis and interpretation (John Llewellyn Williams, Jane Kenney and Mark Edmonds)
  17. Neolithic polished stone axes and hafting systems: Technical use and social function at the Neolithic lakeside settlements of Chalain and Clairvaux (Yolaine Maigrot)
  18. A potential axe factory near Hyssington, Powys: Survey and excavation 2007–08 (Nigel Jones and Steve Burrow)
  19. Does size matter? Stone axes from Orkney: their style and deposition (Ann Clarke)
  20. Neolithic ground axeheads and monuments in Wessex (David Field)
  21. The twentieth-century polished stone axeheads of New Guinea: why study them? (Pierre Pétrequin and Anne-Marie Pétrequin )
  22. Neolithic near-identical twins: The ambivalent relationship between ‘factory’ rock and polished stone implements (Stephen Briggs)
  23. Flint axes, ground stone axes and ‘battle-axes’ of the Copper Age in the Eastern Balkans (Romania, Bulgaria) (Florian Klimscha)
  24. Stone axes in the Bohemian Eneolithic: Changing forms, context and social significance (Jan Turek)
  25. Changing contexts, changing meanings: Flint axes in Middle and Late Neolithic communities in the northern Netherlands (Karsten Wentink, Annelou van Gijn and David Fontijn)
  26. Old friends, new friends, a long-lost friend and false friends: Tales from Project JADE (Alison Sheridan, Yvan Pailler, Pierre Pétrequin and Michel Errera)
  27. The Irish Stone Axe Project: Reviewing progress, future prospects (Gabriel Cooney, Stephen Mandal and Emmett O’Keeffe)