Neolithic stone axe

Contributed by Tullie House Museum

Neolithic stone axe from the Lake District, Cumbria. © Tullie House Museum and Art Gallery

In the Neolithic age stone axes were produced in large quantities in what is now the Lake District area.This stone axe, dating to around 3000 BC was discovered at Scaleby Moss, Carlisle and is an outstanding example of one of the axes produced from rock quarried in the Lake District.

The central fells became a centre for stone tool manufacture using the natural resources of fine green-grained stone occurring high up on mountains which were probably venerated as 'seats of the gods'. These axes were produced in such quantity during the Neolithic period that it almost amounted to an industry - hence the term Axe Factory.

The main story with this piece of stone, however, is one of communication at a very early point in the history of Britain, as these axes are found across the country, and even as far as southern Britain and into Europe. It is clear that the people of Neolithic Britain were in communication and engaged in trading on a wide-scale.

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