The analysis of the petrology of Neolithic stone axes has been an important element of their study for the last few decades.
Understanding the sources of the stone used has enabled a greater understanding of trade routes and the desirability of certain materials.
Petrological study is also highlighting when axes are made from exotic stones, which hint at far wider patterns of trade and cultural connection.
This axe, from Potterhanworth, is one such object. It is made from jadeite sourced in the foothills of Monte Viso in the Italian Alps. It was made around 4,000BC but probably entered Britain a few centuries later.
Only a handful of axes of this type are known from Britain.
Courtesy of Lincolnshire County Council, The Collection