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 Socketed Axehead

This socketed axehead was found as part of a Late Bronze Age (1000-600 BC) hoard of ten bronze objects in the townland of Lahardan, parish of Tulla, barony of Tulla Upper on 25 May, 1861. The hoard was found at a depth of 2.13m in a raised bog .

This bronze, bag-shaped socketed and looped axehead is one of two from the same hoard. Bright metallic in colour and in good condition, the margin of the mouth is plain and the casting irregular at the mouth of the socket. On one side of the mouth there is a projection which is a casting feature. (Eogan, 1983).

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: Lahardaun Townland, Tulla Parish
Clare Places: Tulla Parish
Parliamentary Gazetteer of Ireland 1845: Barony of Tulla Upper
The Bronze Age
Clare Archaeology

Eogan, George. 1983. The hoards of the Irish later Bronze Age. University College Dublin, Dublin.

Bronze Socketed Axehead, R508

Bronze Socketed Axehead, R508

Bronze Socketed Axehead, R508

Bronze Socketed Axehead, R508
Click images for high resolution photographs

Photographs appear courtesy of the National Museum of Ireland

<< Riches of Clare: Power