Riches of Clare Exhibition - Power collect, preserve, interpret and display the material culture relating to the history of County Clare, both in the museum building and online,
as an educational resource and a socially inclusive cultural service for the people of Clare and visiting tourists.

Bronze Leaf Shaped Sword

Found in the townland of Killaloe, parish of Killaloe, barony of Tulla Upper, this Late Bronze Age (1000-600 BC) leaf -shaped sword is heavily patinated and pitted all over and is missing most of its tang. The point is broken off the leaf shaped blade which has a broad mid-rib and bevelled edges. The wings are angular and each is pierced by a single rivet hole. Maximum length: 35.8cm; Width at wings: 3.9cm; Max width (blade): 3.4 cm; Max thickness (blade): 9.5 mm; Average width (surviving part of tang): 6mm.

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.


Clare Places: Barony of Tulla Upper
The Bronze Age
Clare Archaeology

Bronze Leaf Shaped Sword, 1974:29

Bronze Leaf Shaped Sword, 1974:29

Bronze Leaf Shaped Sword, 1974:29

Bronze Leaf Shaped Sword, 1974:29
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Photographs appear courtesy of the National Museum of Ireland

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