A Nephrite Axe from the Jeseník Museum
A small stone axe (5.8 x 2.7 x 0.6 cm) from the Jeseník museum caught our attention due to the unusual raw ma-terial used. The artefact corresponds to axes from the Late Neolithic (Eneolithic) Age and probably comes from the collection of the Wrocław bishops originally deposited in the Jánský Vrch castle in Javorník. Although any localization is missing, its origin in Silesia is almost certain. Based on its appearance and magnetic susceptibil-ity measurement results, it was assumed the polished axe was made of nephrite. To prove this assumption the artefact was investigated using non-destructive x-ray diffraction (XRD) in a specially adapted apparatus. This type of determination was used in the Czech Republic for the first time. The analysis confirmed a monomineral composition represented by a monoclinic amphibole of the actinolite-tremolite group. This unique raw material naturally occurs in Jordanów Śląski - the only site in the whole of the eastern part of Central Europe. All the features of the studied axe point to its origin as being probably from the source mentioned above.