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The Copper Axe Craft of Ancient Scotland. Source: YouTube Screenshot / AncientCraftUK.

The Copper Axe Craft of Ancient Scotland (Video)


In the captivating landscapes of Kilmartin Glen, ancient rock art reveals a fascinating chapter of human expression. Dr. James Dilley, an expert in prehistoric archaeology, unveils the mysterious depictions found in this Scottish land. Unlike the prevalent cup and ring markings, a distinctive form emerges – the portrayal of flat copper axes, predominantly crafted from copper during the early Bronze Age. These axes, symbols of both utility and prestige, grace the rock surfaces with their presence. The scarcity of such axes found in Kilmartin Glen raises intriguing questions. Were these axes too valuable to be left as grave offerings, or do they lie undiscovered beneath the soil? The origins of the copper, often traced to Ireland, suggest a network of cultural exchange.

Dr. Dilley delves into the intricate process of crafting these metal tools, from the smelting of native copper to the casting of axes in carefully crafted molds. Beyond their functional significance, these flat axes acquire symbolic importance, representing not only tools but also symbols of power and prestige. As artifacts and artistic expressions, they endure through time, leaving an indelible mark on the narrative of prehistoric life. Axes, both then and now, resonate as enduring emblems, reflecting the intersection of practicality and symbolism in the human experience.

Top image: The Copper Axe Craft of Ancient Scotland. Source: YouTube Screenshot / AncientCraftUK.

By Robbie Mitchell

Robbie Mitchell's picture


I’m a graduate of History and Literature from The University of Manchester in England and a total history geek. Since a young age, I’ve been obsessed with history. The weirder the better. I spend my days working as a freelance... Read More

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