A Neolithic polished stone axe from Lancing, West Sussex

A Neolithic polished stone axe from Lancing, West Sussex, from the founding collection of the Pitt Rivers Museum
During August, we are publishing through this blog a series of new photographs taken by archaeological photographer Ian Cartwright for an online Image Gallery created with the support of the Arts and Humanities Research Council. You can read more about the gallery here, and you can see the whole gallery online here.

Here is the caption for this image:
Two museum catalogue numbers are written onto this Neolithic stone axe from West Sussex. One matches a museum manuscript catalogue entry from 1882: “4 flint celts Lancing 2.7.79 - 98/9680”. Two historic labels are attached. “Pol.” simply records that it is a polished stone axe. “Lancing nr Brighton” refers to the site, near the town of Worthing, of excavations by James Medhurst in the 1820s. Cross-referencing textual sources, we can place this object at a Sotheby’s auction on 2.7.1879, at which we know Pitt-Rivers bought other items. The catalogue listed items from “the Museum formed by the late Mr James Medhurst of Worthing”. The axe’s multiple texts thus link Pitt-Rivers’ metropolitan collection with an earlier provincial history of archaeological fieldwork and collecting. (Pitt Rivers Museum Accession Number 1884.123.37)​

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