The Lyngby Axe: A 13,000-Year Guarantee

  • 2020 09 09–2021 08 29
  • During open hours
  • Exhibition
  • With visitor ticket

The oldest axe in Lithuania. Since the Stone Age it has been lying at the bank of a large and shallow body of water that once stretched in the Biržai district. Research allows us to guess that it was an attractive place to set up a temporary settlement. Manufactured from reindeer antler, this tool, which was indispensable for nomadic communities in those times, the Lyngby-type axe, was most probably dropped during a hunt. Over the centuries, the tundra extending in this territory gave way to deciduous trees, and a lake no longer exists in this place – today, a river has cut its way there. Usually, horn artefacts decay over thousands of years, thus it is indeed a miracle that this axe has survived until our days.

We will probably never know the exact reason why the axe was dropped in that specific place and stayed there for such a long time. However, we do know something – the axe is 13,000 years old, and its unexpected finding made it the earliest archaeological find in Lithuania known at this time, and put it on the list of Lyngby-type artefacts that are found extremely seldom in Europe.

Today, this axe no longer lies at a depth of 1.5 metres in the village of Parupė, Biržai district. It is the central exhibit of the exhibition “The Lyngby Axe: A 13,000-Year Guarantee” at the National Museum of Lithuania.

The exhibition “The Lyngby Axe: A 13,000-Year Guarantee” is open at The National Museum of Lithuania, Old Arsenal (Arsenalo Str. 3).