Power: The Riches of Clare
This bronze razor was found as part of a small Late Bronze Age (1000-600 BC) hoard in the townland of Booltiaghdine, in the parish of Killinaboy, barony of Inchiquin. The group of objects has all the signs of a personal hoard - the possession of an individual lost or buried at some time for a reason or reasons unknown. A date to the Late Bronze Age is the most likely for all the components of the Booltiaghadine hoard or more specifically to the final phase of it which started during the 8th century BC. Dr George Mc Namara who displayed the hoard at the General Meeting of the Royal Society of Antiquaries of Ireland held at Lisdoonvarna in 1900 noted that the two smaller items in the hoard, the chisel and razor, were found inside the socket of the axehead.
This double-edged tanged bronze razor of the bifid-type is in fairly good condition. One of the tips of the blade is missing and the other is slightly bent. The tang is wide and flat. (Eogan, 1983). Length: 6.4 cm; Length of tang 1.7 cm; Maximum width of blade: 2.4 cm.
During the Bronze Age metal objects were deliberately deposited in rivers, bogs and lakes. The act of placing these objects, either in hoards or singly, in water and watery contexts was no doubt overtly ritual and may have been linked to events such as births or deaths in the community. Although depositing the metal was a ritual act, political and economic benefits resulted. It is possible that Bronze Age social hierarchies were in part maintained by controlling the exchange of prestigious items such as metalwork. Ritually depositing metal was public display of the destruction of wealth and could be used to build personal status. At the same time, metal was taken out of circulation thereby controlling its supply and value.
Places: Booltiaghadine Townland, Killinaboy Parish
Photographs appear courtesy of the National Museum of Ireland