The Minoan Double Axe

An experimental study of production and use

Maria Lowe Fri


Since the double axe is such an important and symbolically charged object, emblematic for Minoan Crete, it has been discussed from different perspectives. Some scholars have created typologies; others have discussed shape and function without a typology.Shape and function also include the discussion of which double axes are tools and which are “sacred” or votive gifts. The aim of this research is to study the double axe as a tool and find out what it was used for in practice. The question of who used the double axe and for what purpose during the Bronze Age in Crete has not been answered satisfactorily; this is due to the fact that no one has as of yet studied the use-wear of the double axes. Overall this study is an attempt to show that the double axe is and was an extremely practical and effective tool without having to attribute it to a profane or a religious context.