This shaft-hole axe was made from igneous stone, and was recovered from an archaeological site in Germany. The axe was made by the people of the ‘Battle Axe Culture‘ or ‘Single Grave Culture’, ca. 4350-4800 BP.
The distinctive attributes of this artefact are the two partly-drilled holes on the top of the axe. They were likely added as a decorative or symbolic motif. The holes were made using a hollow drill, which is also the way the shaft-holes were drilled in these axes. The flat profile and raised ridges were also typical features of battle axes. The axe was likely made by pecking and finished by grinding, although grinding has removed all traces of the pecking stage.
See the annotations for technological details about this stone tool.
The Battle Axe people occupied coastal areas of southern Scandinavia during the Chalcolithic, a period of cultural migration and upheaval in Europe following the Neolithic period. The Battle Axe culture was part of a larger archaeological horizon referred to as Corded Ware. A similar culture to Battle Axe is found in Denmark and Northern European Plain, referred to as the Single Grave culture. The Battle Axe culture is thought to have derived from the Yamnaya expansion westwards from the Baltic Sea, as suggested by archaeological and genetic evidence. Analysis of ancient DNA has shown that modern Northern European people are genetically related to people of the Battle Axe culture.