Battle-axes and axe-hammers mark the final substantial stone tool type to be developed at a time when bronze was becoming widespread. Why they were adopted and how their production and distribution relates to that of bronze axes is a pivotal question for artefact studies at this time.
The picrite source at Cwm Mawr is one of the few rock outcrops known to have been systematically exploited for the production of these tools and, despite the identification of quarries along its length during the 1950s, it has not been investigated in detail. Work began on resolving this lacuna in 2007 when Nigel Jones of Clwyd Powys Archaeological Trust undertook an exploratory excavation of a number of the quarries. This led to a partnership project with the Museum which will involve excavation, geological survey and an associated schools' programme, the latter managed by Ken Brassil.