A is for Axe

From the first settlement of Ireland in the Mesolithic the axe has been Ireland's most characteristic tool. More than 25,000 examples are known. Axes were made at all periods of Irish history and from a range of materials. In the Stone Age they were made from a range of stone types including flint, mudstone, jadeite, porcellanite, porphyry and greenstone. In the metal age axes were made from copper, then bronze and finally iron. Axes have been found in settlements, ceremonial sites and tombs and burials, in fields and bogs and rivers and lakes. They are found on their own and in groups of objects called hoards. More than any other tool they are responsible for the form of the Irish landscape as they were used over millennia to clear the extensive woodlands that covered the land and open it up for human settlement. More than any other tool it was the axe that made Ireland what it is today.

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