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Jonathan Hopkins




PostPosted: Tue 11 Feb, 2014 9:03 pm    Post subject: Canaanite duckbill axe by Jeroen Zuiderwijk         Reply with quote

In late December I purchased Dan Howard's excellent book Bronze Age Military Equipment and became intrigued by Bronze age weapons. After lusting after Neil Burridge's work I stumbled across a classified for the duckbill axe made by our own Jeroen Zuiderwijk. It seemed like it would be a unique piece to own so I decided to wait on buying from Neil (I will do it one day!) and contacted Jeroen about his axe. He hafted it for me and it arrived this afternoon. It is a big departure from my usual interests, but I really like it! Jeroen included a nice note with more information about the axe and its materials;

Quote:
Some information: the blade is made from an alloy of copper and ~13% tin. The edge is work hardened. The haft is ash, and treated with linseed oil. The leather is made by a colleage and is naturally tanned.


A few questions--is there a definitive or standard source that provides an in-depth discussion of this type of axe? Is this axe type depicted in ancient art? Was its use limited to the Levant or was its use a bit more widespread?

Thank you in advance for any help you may be able to offer! (I will cross post this in a few places to cast a wide net.) I have attached a few hasty phone pics of the axe in hand, with some lovely Wisconsin snow in the background.

Thanks again,
Jonathan



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Jonathan Hopkins




PostPosted: Tue 11 Feb, 2014 9:27 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I want to add that I am very happy with the axe. It is extremely well made and hafted, and I would recommend Jeroen and his work to anyone interested in a quality Bronze Age replica.
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Addison C. de Lisle




Location: South Carolina
Joined: 05 Nov 2005
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PostPosted: Tue 11 Feb, 2014 9:32 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I don't know anything about these but I saw this one at the Castlerock Museum in Alma, WI (an excellent museum by the way. No glass!)

I have a ton of photos from there I haven't processed yet, I'll get around to uploading them eventually...



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Last edited by Addison C. de Lisle on Tue 11 Feb, 2014 9:33 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Jonathan Hopkins




PostPosted: Tue 11 Feb, 2014 9:33 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That is great to know! I will have to take a field trip to Alma this summer.
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Dan Howard




Location: Maitland, NSW, Australia
Joined: 08 Dec 2004

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PostPosted: Tue 11 Feb, 2014 11:18 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
A few questions--is there a definitive or standard source that provides an in-depth discussion of this type of axe?
Not that I know of.
Quote:
Is this axe type depicted in ancient art?
I don't recall seeing any during my research for the book. If you come across any, I'd love to see them.
Quote:
Was its use limited to the Levant or was its use a bit more widespread?
It was mainly limited to the Levant. Here's one from Israel
http://www.antiquities.org.il/t/item_en.aspx?...lemid=1307

Agreed about Jeroen's work; it is as good as Neil's. Sometimes it is better because he doesn't make things commercially, but for research purposes. He tries to make everything using historical equipment and techniques. His goal isn't so much the finished product, but the processes required to get there.

Author: Bronze Age Military Equipment, Pen and Sword Books
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Sa'ar Nudel




Location: Haifa, Israel
Joined: 02 Dec 2005
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Posts: 354

PostPosted: Wed 12 Feb, 2014 9:50 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Another one, from Tell Kabri (north-west Israel): http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons..._Kabri.png

There is a famous wall painting from the Beni Hasan tombs in Egypt, showing a caravan of Hyksos or Semites. The first person on the lower left appears to be carrying some sort of an axe, usually referred to as the only period depiction of a Duck-bill axe, but this may well be an Egyptian tanged axe.
http://edoc3.bibliothek.uni-halle.de/lepsius/...041330.jpg

Curator of Beit Ussishkin, regional nature & history museum, Upper Galilee.
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Jonathan Hopkins




PostPosted: Wed 12 Feb, 2014 10:56 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dan and Sa'ar,
Thank you for your very helpful responses. The Beni Hasan image is fantastic!

Jonathan
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Jonathan Hopkins




PostPosted: Wed 12 Feb, 2014 11:01 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I forgot to add these stats provided by Jeroen-- the axe head is 12 cm long, and weighs 400 grams.
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Dan Howard




Location: Maitland, NSW, Australia
Joined: 08 Dec 2004

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PostPosted: Wed 12 Feb, 2014 12:44 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sa'ar Nudel wrote:
There is a famous wall painting from the Beni Hasan tombs in Egypt, showing a caravan of Hyksos or Semites. The first person on the lower left appears to be carrying some sort of an axe, usually referred to as the only period depiction of a Duck-bill axe, but this may well be an Egyptian tanged axe.
http://edoc3.bibliothek.uni-halle.de/lepsius/...041330.jpg

It doesn't look anything like a duckbill to me. People interpret these illustrations in any manner that fits their pet theories. My book discusses this. People have arrived at the most ridiculous conclusions based on some pretty dodgy evidence. My favourite is the spotted Sumerian cloaks being interpreted as leather studded with bronze discs.

Author: Bronze Age Military Equipment, Pen and Sword Books
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Jonathan Hopkins




PostPosted: Wed 12 Feb, 2014 1:25 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dan,
Do you think it is more likely a tanged axe as Sa'ar mentioned above?

Thank you,
Jonathan
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Dan Howard




Location: Maitland, NSW, Australia
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PostPosted: Wed 12 Feb, 2014 2:25 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

No idea. Look at the hand grip; what is that projection below his fist?
Author: Bronze Age Military Equipment, Pen and Sword Books
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Jonathan Hopkins




PostPosted: Wed 12 Feb, 2014 3:23 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I think that is what is being interpreted as the duckbill axe head, with the dark end perhaps being a wrapped swollen grip(?).
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Sa'ar Nudel




Location: Haifa, Israel
Joined: 02 Dec 2005
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Posts: 354

PostPosted: Thu 13 Feb, 2014 2:29 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dan, as I wrote in my last line, I doubt myself it is actually a Duck-bill. The actual mural is in bad condition and the reconstruction as appears in the link provided, was made by Champollion, at the dawn of archaeology.
Jonathan, the head is to the left, the canted grip is to the right. Since the depiction of other weapons in this mural (and other murals from that grave) is pretty accurate, I think it is highly likely to be some sort of an axe.

Curator of Beit Ussishkin, regional nature & history museum, Upper Galilee.
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Matthew Amt




Location: Laurel, MD, USA
Joined: 17 Sep 2003

Posts: 1,306

PostPosted: Thu 13 Feb, 2014 5:57 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

[quote="Dan Howard"]
Sa'ar Nudel wrote:
My favourite is the spotted Sumerian cloaks being interpreted as leather studded with bronze discs.


Hey, I liked that one... Long ago there was an Ancient Civilizations display here in the Smithsonian--trying to remember if parts of it are still there or what. Anyway, the Sumerian section had a pair of soldier mannikins with leather cloaks with bronze discs, in the classic interpretation. Plus an old guy smelting copper! And a goat, as I recall.

Whatever! Cool axe, yes!!

Matthew
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Jonathan Hopkins




PostPosted: Thu 13 Feb, 2014 1:46 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sa'ar,
Thanks again. That is how I was seeing the axe, too. I appreciate your input on the mural.

Jonathan
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