Collection online


  • Object type

  • Museum number


  • Description

    Iron axe-hammer with a long iron shaft. The head has an expanded, slightly drooping blade at one end and a blunt, squared extension at the other. There is a 'collar'-like feature at the base of the head, but it is unclear whether this feature is an integral part or separate from the head. The shaft is of rectangular section below the head but changes shape along its length, becoming first a thinner rectangular section, then thicker and virtually square in section, and finally circular in section. The base of the shaft is rounded with a fitting comprising a large ring forged through a smaller one.


  • Culture/period

  • Date

    • early 7thC
  • Findspot

  • Materials

  • Dimensions

    • Length: 750 millimetres
    • Length: 780 millimetres (incl ring fitting)
    • Length: 700 millimetres (handle)
    • Length: 205 millimetres (head)
    • Width: 53 millimetres (cutting edge)
    • Diameter: 20 millimetres (lower part of shaft)
  • Curator's comments


    Dobat, A. S., 2006. The King and his Cult: The Axe-hammer from Sutton Hoo and its Implications for the Concept of Sacral Leadership in Early Medieval Europe. Antiquity 80, pp. 880-93

  • Bibliography

    • Bruce-Mitford 1983 Figs. 595, 597, 599 bibliographic details
  • Location

    Not on display

  • Exhibition history

    1980 10 Mar-30 Sep, Sweden, Stockholm, Statens Historika Museum, The Vikings are Here

  • Acquisition name

  • Acquisition date


  • Acquisition notes

    Excavated 1939

  • Department

    Britain, Europe and Prehistory

  • Registration number



If you’ve noticed a mistake or have any further information about this object, please email: 

View open data for this object with SPARQL endpoint

Object reference number: MCS7903

British Museum collection data is also available in the W3C open data standard, RDF, allowing it to join and relate to a growing body of linked data published by organisations around the world.

View this object

Support the Museum:
donate online

The Museum makes its collection database available to be used by scholars around the world. Donations will help support curatorial, documentation and digitisation projects.

About the database

The British Museum collection database is a work in progress. New records, updates and images are added every week.

More about the database 


Work on this database is supported by a range of sponsors, donors and volunteers.

More about supporters and how you
can help