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Life on the cutting edge: interpreting patterns of wear on Scottish Early Bronze Age axes

Life on the cutting edge: interpreting patterns of wear on Scottish Early Bronze Age axes
Life on the cutting edge: interpreting patterns of wear on Scottish Early Bronze Age axes
Traditional approaches to Bronze Age metalwork have very often been framed within a series of dichotomous relationships often concerning either an objects production or ultimate deposition. In contrast, this thesis utilises a 'biographical approach' to material culture to illuminate what happened to objects during their often varied lifetimes, and importantly how this may have related to their deposition. A physical re-examination of wear, damage and states of fragmentation exhibited by a number of Early Bronze Age axes from Scotland (c. 2,400 to c. 1,700 cal B.C) is undertaken against a concurrent a program of experimental work. It is suggested that the physical appearance and condition of these objects were held to be indicative of both the object and its owner’s biography. It is shown that axes deposited together in hoards show recurring patterns of use wear and damage relating to both the longevity and intensity of use seen during their individual lifetimes. Moreover, it is argued that decoration may have been carried out over extended periods of time rather than in one event, or even after an object was no longer useable.
Moyler, Shaun
762d754f-fb32-4b97-8955-87981d7c7268
Moyler, Shaun
762d754f-fb32-4b97-8955-87981d7c7268
Champion, Timothy
42a175cf-70ac-40fd-9a84-f544296f15df

(2007) Life on the cutting edge: interpreting patterns of wear on Scottish Early Bronze Age axes. University of Southampton, Faculty of Humanities, Doctoral Thesis, 159pp.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)

Abstract

Traditional approaches to Bronze Age metalwork have very often been framed within a series of dichotomous relationships often concerning either an objects production or ultimate deposition. In contrast, this thesis utilises a 'biographical approach' to material culture to illuminate what happened to objects during their often varied lifetimes, and importantly how this may have related to their deposition. A physical re-examination of wear, damage and states of fragmentation exhibited by a number of Early Bronze Age axes from Scotland (c. 2,400 to c. 1,700 cal B.C) is undertaken against a concurrent a program of experimental work. It is suggested that the physical appearance and condition of these objects were held to be indicative of both the object and its owner’s biography. It is shown that axes deposited together in hoards show recurring patterns of use wear and damage relating to both the longevity and intensity of use seen during their individual lifetimes. Moreover, it is argued that decoration may have been carried out over extended periods of time rather than in one event, or even after an object was no longer useable.

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More information

Published date: 1 September 2007
Organisations: University of Southampton, Archaeology

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 367868
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/367868
PURE UUID: 89900518-9d0e-4248-830b-60a9306e9966

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Date deposited: 23 Oct 2014 12:55
Last modified: 18 Jul 2017 01:54

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Contributors

Author: Shaun Moyler
Thesis advisor: Timothy Champion

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