socketed axe headIn September 1985 a remarkable group of objects were uncovered by two workers at the Charlton gravel pit on the Shepperton Ranges. One of the workers, Mr. Joseph Jakubowski, rescued an axe-head and a Celtic sword from the bucket of the machinery and these finds were donated to the Museum by Tarmac Roadstone Ltd.

The late Bronze Age socketed axe head is cast in bronze and was a unique discovery as it is complete with its jointed wooden haft or handle. Axe heads are one of the most commonly found late Bronze Age artefacts, but prior to the discovery of this one it was thought that the handle were made from one piece of L-shaped wood. Indeed, other axe heads from this time have been found with wooden handle made from wood selected from a knarled tree-root or from the point where a branch joins the main trunk.

The axe head is a type known as a Ewart Park, looped socketed axe head, and has a handle made up of two pieces: a horizontal haft made of oak to give the tool strength, and a vertical haft made of ash to give flexibility. It is not possible to date it precisely, but it is likely to be from c.800-600 BC.