- Museum number
Iron adze-hammer with remains of wooden handle (rowan, whitebeam or service tree). On display with reconstruction of handle. The eye is oval with a long, rectangular sleeve below it. The hammer-head is rectangular with a slightly domed face. The adze-blade is turned through a sharp angle and has straight sides which splay out to give a relatively wide, slightly convex edge.
- Production date
Length: 220 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- Manning 1985
It is an exceptionally well-made tool. Found associated with first-century samian ware. A fragment of wood in the socket has been identified at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, as rowan, whitebeam or service tree (Sorfous sp.)
Although this is functionally the same as registration nos. 1870,1013.31 and 1848,0510.61, it differs in having small lugs in front of the eye, a rectangular hammer-face and collar, and in the sheer quality of its workmanship. All of these details appear on other adze-hammers; it is their combination which makes this one unique. Examples with lugs in front of the eye have been mentioned in the discussions of the Kingsholm tool (1870,1013.31); as with axes, it is probably a relatively early feature. The rectangular hammer-face is not uncommon, the adzes from Rheingönheim and Feldberg cited in the discussion on the Kingsholm tool both have it, as does one from La Truchère in France (Reinach 1923, 262, fig. 272, 35464), and another from Pompeii (Gaitzsch 1980, 345, Taf. 10, 43). The quality of production is reminiscent of certain military tools of the late first century, in particular those from Newstead (Curle 1911), and it is not impossible that this piece was produced in a military workshop.
Bibliography: Painter 1961, 116, pl. XLIX, C.
- On display (G49/dc16)
- Britain, Europe and Prehistory
- Registration number