Axes, Adzes, and Clubs

Axes were made by flaking and/or hammer-dressing the blank to a roughly oval shape, then grinding a sharp edge on one end. The edge was ground to both faces, centring it. Edge-ground axes were mounted onto handles, like a modern hatchet.

The first edge-ground axes in the world appear in the archaeological record of Australia over 40,000 years ago. Eventually edge-ground stone axes were independently invented in all parts of the world. Stone axes were made in a diversity of shapes and sizes, reflecting their different historical roots, combined with the types of stone they were made from, and the methods used to affix them to handles.  Metamorphic and volcanic stones were often used for axes because of the durability of these materials, but many were made from flint or chert where those materials were abundant.

Stone axes were hafted with the cutting edge parallel to the handle, but a variant of stone axes, called adzes, were hafted with the cutting edge at a right angle to the handle, much like a modern hoe.  The cutting edge of an adze is offset towards one face, unlike the centred edge seen on stone axes.  Stone axes were sometimes made with grooves or waists for hafting, and the cutting edges on some types of axes were made entirely by flaking.

Axe, vivien muller

Grooved Stone Axe

Axe from Crescent Head

Grooved Stone Axe

Axe Fitzroy Station

Grooved Stone Axe

Hafted axe, Australia

Hafted Stone Axe

Shell adze Gibbs

Shell Adze

Axe, Qld, Selwyn Ranges

Stone Axe

Axe, Charleville 2

Stone Axe

Stone axe, Australia Lake Moondarra 2

Stone Axe

Axe Willeroo Yard NT

Stone Axe

Stone Axe, Australia Lake Moondarra

Stone Axe

Axe, Anaiwan 1

Stone Axe

Axe, Anaiwan 2

Stone Axe

Axe from Retreat

Stone Axe

Axe, Moondarra from Atherton

Stone Axe

Axe Kimberley The Temple

Stone Axe

Axe lake moondarra Pat's

Stone Axe

Axe Mithaka 1

Stone Axe

Axe blank Bletchington Pakr

Stone Axe Blank

Waisted axe, Australia

Waisted Axe

Adze, Java

Stone Adze

Adze Java big reworked

Stone Adze

Adze blank stitched from Indonesia

Stone Adze Blank

Adze blank, Song Gupuh

Stone Adze Blank

Stone axe, drilled, China

Fu Axe

Adze, Thailand

Stone Adze

Axe, Gold Coast

Facetted Axe

Lupemban foliate 1, no end thin

Lupemban Foliate Biface

Lupemban foliate 2, end thinned

Lupemban Foliate Biface

Tranchet axe, Denmark

Flake Axe

Axe, hafted in antler

Hafted Stone Axe

Axe in modern haft, Denmark

Hafted Stone Axe, reconstructed

Point-butted axe Denmark 1

Point-Butted Axe

screenshot (3)

Rectangular-Sectioned Adze

Axe blank, Czech Republic

Shaft-Hole Axe

Axe, Denmark battleaxe

Shaft-Hole Battle Axe

Battle axe Germany

Shaft-Hole Battle Axe

Adze, Hampshire UK

Stone Adze

Axe, Ireland

Stone Axe

Stone axe, Zug, Switzerland

Stone Axe

Axe from Scotland AIA

Stone Axe

Celt, North Carolina

Celt

Axe, full grooved, North Carolina

Full-Grooved Axe

Axe, full-grooved North Carolina 1

Full-Grooved Axe

Axe, Guilford NC 1

Guilford Axe

Axe, Guilford NC 2

Guilford Axe

Axe, 3:4 grooved North Carolina

Three-Quarter Grooved Axe

Hafted axe, Chile

Hafted Stone Axe

Mace head, Peru

Mace Head

Axe, Peru

Stone Axe

Axe, Ecuador

Stone Axe

Mace head 2

Club Head

Mace head 1, PNG

Club Head

Hafted adze PNG

Hafted Stone Adze

Hafted adze Puke Ariki

Hafted Stone Adze, reconstructed

screenshot (1)

Hafted Stone Axe

Adze NZ jade updated

Stone Adze

Adze, Langda

Stone Adze

Hawai'i adze

Stone Adze

Samoan adze 3

Stone Adze

Samoan adze 4

Stone Adze

Samoan adze 5

Stone Adze

Samoan adze 6

Stone Adze

Samoan adze 7

Stone Adze

Samoan adze malaefono

Stone Adze

Samoan adze 1

Stone Adze Blank

Samoan adze 2

Stone Adze Blank