>> Richard Bradley has identified that the axes from the most inaccessible peaks held the
>> highest value.
And how has he done that? Found a price list? Sorry, but if that's what he said then what a stupid comment he made. He has proposed that these axes might have had or probably had the highest value.
The mace at Knowth and several other finds show that there was a need, maybe a market even, for ornamental axes. We can presume that there was a market for normal axes too, but finds of disgarded axes amongst tree cleared area show that your common, bog-standard axes weren't all that valuable.
The theory that there were huge axe markets seems solely based on Burl's need to explain the presence of axe carvings at sites. It's like ley-lines. Someone mentions a thought and everyone runs wild with it. If there is more solid to it than this will somebody please point me at it.
I am about to read the Stone Axe Project, a study of Irish stone axes undertaken by the Discovery Program, the branch of the Royal Society of Ireland that did all the Tara surveys etc. If I find anything of import I'll comment here.