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Abstract

Cast axes are one of the most numerous categories of bronze products from earlier phases of the Bronze Age found in Poland. They had multiple applications since they were not only used objects such as tools or weapons but also played the prestigious and cult roles. Investigations of the selected axes from the bronze products treasure of the Bronze Age, found in the territory of Poland, are presented in the hereby paper. The holder of these findings is the State Archaeological Museum in Warsaw. Metallurgical investigations of axes with bushing were performed in respect of the casting technology and quality of obtained castings. Macroscopic observations allowed to document the remains of the gating system and to assess the range and kind of casting defects. Light microscopy revealed the microstructure character of these relicts. The chemical composition was determined by means of the X-ray fluorescence method with energy dispersion (ED-XRF) and by the scanning electron microscopy with X-ray energy dispersion analysis in micro-areas (SEM-EDS). The shape and dimensions of cores, reproducing inner parts of axes were identified on the basis of the X-ray tomography images. Studies reconstructed production technology of the mould with gating system, determined chemical composition of the applied alloys and casting structures as well as revealed the casting defects being the result of construction and usage of moulds and cores.
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