I’ve started to assemble pictures and maps for my Bronze Age book. Almost all known objects from deposition sites in the Lakes Mälaren and Hjälmaren areas have already been illustrated elsewhere. But here’s an exception: a socketed bronze axe found before 1963 in a bog at Eklunda in Bred parish, near Enköping, Uppland province. It’s 3,000 years old, dating from Period IV, 1100-950/20 cal BC.
Axes like this were fitted onto hafts shaped like a V with one very short arm, and held in place by a string or strap through the little lug near the base – which is damaged in this case. The verdigris covering the bronze suggests that the bog had been drained and ploughed for years before the axe was found. Wet sediments prevent such corrosion.
When Evert Baudou collected the material for his PhD thesis in the 50s, this type, A2a, was mainly known from northern Zealand and eastern Funen, but there was also a casting mould from Västergötland. Finds since then are unlikely to have changed the distribution pattern much. The axe from Eklunda was probably an import piece. I have no detailed information about where the find spot is, but judging from the results of my studies, it is likely to have been in or at a Bronze Age lake or sea inlet which later silted up and became a bog. There’s an endless discussion about why people parted with bronze objects in this manner. I believe they did it primarily to communicate with supernatural beings.
The axe is inv. no 11,863 in Västmanland County Museum. Big thanks to Susanne Granlund for the photograph.