Axe, the status symbol

Bronze Age. Circa 1650 BC. Tufalau, Romania.

In 1840 one of south-eastern Europe’s richest finds of golden items was discovered in Tufalau, in what was then Transylvania, containing nine gold axes, numerous golden hair rings, and gold discs of various sizes. One axe and a number of gold discs were purchased for the Treasury in Vienna in 1851, and these were transferred to the Prehistoric Department of the NHM in 1924.
Golden axes were not used for battle or other practical purposes, and were pure status symbols. The value of the material was further enhanced by decoration.

© NHM Vienna, Lois Lammerhuber