Many axes were created throughout ancient history, but how many of them were double edged?

This axe was very likely not for battle. Not only can we see this from its ornate decoration but because we know the Greeks were most likely to use axes for religious ceremony and sacrifice. A piece like this reminds us of the practices and brutality that could exist in ancient hellenistic religion.

In stock


C. 330-200 BC. Greek Hellenistic. An iron labrys, or double headed axe, with squat, curved blades, tapering cheeks and a tapering socket. The cheeks of both blades are decorated with incised dots which form a repeating rams’ horn motif within a dotted border. The labrys, probably from the ancient Lydian word for an axe, is the double axe Zeus uses to invoke storms. Such objects were used in ritual sacrifices and some were even worshipped in their own right as symbols of Zeus, king of the gods in the Greek pantheon. Excellent condition; on a custom stand.

Size: L:50mm / W:110mm ; 390g

Provenance: Property of a central London Ancient Art Gallery; previously obtained from a British private collection formed before 2000.

Read more about Axes in Ancient History

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