BRONZE AGE AXE
The prehistoric collections at the Cheltenham Museum have been enriched by the addition of a bronze socketed axe. This axe was found near Chipping Campden some little time ago, and passed into the possession of Mr A E Jones of Badsey, Evesham.
It belongs to the late Bronze Age, which began at about BC 1000 and went on until the Early Iron Age which started at BC 500.
The presentation of the venerable weapon was a pleasing feature of the annual meeting of the Bristol and Gloucestershire Archaeological Society in Cheltenham, as was the presence of its 80-year-old donor, Mr Jones. The curator (Mr Herdman) suggested that as the Mayor (Ald Clara Winterbotham), who is the chairman of the Art Gallery and Museum Committee, was welcoming the members of the Society, it would be appropriate if the presentation were made to her, and this was done by the chairman of the Archaeological Society (Mr Thomas Overbury, FSA).
Later at tea Mr Jones, the donor of the axe, had the honour of sitting on the Mayor’s right hand.
This was not the first occasion Mr Jones had been a benefactor to the Cheltenham Museum, for some years ago he gave to it a Bronze Age pottery urn found on the Cotswolds.
Some people seem to have a flair for finding these pre-historic remains only equalled by the way the truffle-hunting dogs nose out the subterranean truffle.
I have met such rare people who have delightful collections of flint implements, from tiny and beautifully worked arrowheads to those hefty and blood-thirsty looking axes of the Palaeolithic Period, the very sight of which suggests cleft skulls.
Yet I am sure the majority of us have never come across a Palaeolithic or Neolithic flint arrow or axe-head, or a Bronze Age sword on our rambles over the Cotswolds!
By the way, I am told Mr Jones had been interested in archaeology since he was a small boy, which, I fear, has not been the case with most of us. Hence, perhaps, the reasons that we never spot any flint axes or ancient British pottery in our rambles.