More than a million years ago members of the species homo erects were making stone tools designed for chopping that can be described as early hand Axes. The Invention of Axe
The Invention of Axe
They were teardrop shaped and roughly made flaked on either side to form a sharp cutting edge. However not until the rise of farming during the late stone age did such tools come to resemble what we would now recognize as the axe.
There was a widespread trade in these tools around this time and stone axes have been uncovered at many Neolithic meeting places.
Axes clearly designed to be mounted (hafted) on handles have been found at a site near Mount Hagen in New Guinea. By analyzing samples of pollen from around the same ear-through being around 8,000 years age- archeologists have concluded that they were probably employed in the opening up to the rain forest during agricultural developments to allow light to reach crops.
By the Bronze Age in Britain woodworkers had developed a range of axes for different cutting purposes. Archeologists have looked like by experimenting with their own reconstructed tools to produce different cut marks.
Although primarily a functional tool the axis a symbol of power. It is possible to identify the remains of highly ranked members of a society by looking at their grave goods which sometimes include axes.
For example, an excavation of a Bulgarian cemetery dating back to 4000 B.C.E. uncovered a number of gold-covered axes. Their inclusion in the grave has been interpreted as the signifying high levels of authority.