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The tools, which are now in Winchester City Council’s collection, have been analysed and found to originate in the north Italian Alps from around 4,000BC. They had been carried for many miles before they were lost in Hampshire. But no-one knows why or how they got here.
The axes date from the Neolithic period, a time of great change that saw the first farmers arrive in Britain from north-western Europe.
In 2003, extraction sites for the distinctive and beautiful green stone, known as jadeite, were discovered high up in the North Italian Alps by the pioneering archaeologists, Pierre and Anne-Marie Pétrequin.
The Hampshire axes were found to be from this source and so they had travelled many miles.