THE LEARNING CENTER
The difference between celts and adzes
Contributed by member Jim Bennett
As a collector of stone I prefer to acquire a nicely polished celt, adze or axe than any other artifact. Just something about a nicely pecked and polished relic that attracts me to a table at a show. I was talking with a member through email who asked what the difference was between a Celt and an Adze. Often times these are all simply classified as celts when there is in fact a distinct difference in both shape and the relics intended use.
A celt is simply an ungrooved axe used for chopping. it has a "bit" end which is the sharp end, and a poll end which is the opposite end. The bit on a celt is straight across - see below pics.
Adzes, although the appearance is similar to a celt is actually a different tool. Adzes were used for wood working. The adze has a slightly curved bit, not straight across. It is common on adzes to see some ancient damage to the poll end. This damage was caused when the poll was struck with another object during use.
The shaft of a celt would have been mounted to the side of the celt
The shaft of an adze would have been mounted to the bottom of the azde
Hope this helps!
Jim Bennett - woodman32