Riches of Clare Exhibition - Earth collect, preserve, interpret and display the material culture relating to the history of County Clare, both in the museum building and online,
as an educational resource and a socially inclusive cultural service for the people of Clare and visiting tourists.

Polished Stone Axe

Poulnabrone, County Clare

Poulnabrone Portal Tomb on the Burren dates to the Neolithic and a series of radiocarbon dates on bones found there range from c3800-3200 BC.

The tomb consists of a single chamber with the entrance flanked by two large portal stones and topped with an enormous capstone.

The chamber is encased in a very low cairn, which may not have been any higher in antiquity. The chamber contained the disarticulated bones of at least 21 Neolithic men, women and children as well as bones of cattle, sheep/goat, dog and other smaller animals. Just outside the entrance, the complete skeleton of a Bronze Age newborn baby was found.

Stone Axes mounted on wooden handles were an important tool for clearing forests in the Neolithic. They also appear to have had a symbolic role, and this axe was probably placed in the tomb as part of a ritual.

Ref: E351:11

Photograph appears courtesy of the National Museum of Ireland

Database of Irish Excavations Report
Megalithomania Portal Tomb
Chronological Methods 8 - Radiocarbon Dating
Karst of Ireland - The Burren

Polished Stone Axe, E351:11
Click image for high resolution photograph

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