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 Spearhead

Found near Killaloe, this Late Bronze Age (1000-600 BC) bronze spearhead possesses a lozenge shaped blade and has a long, round-sectioned socket extending from the point and projecting for 7.8 cm beyond the base of the blade. The socket is round in cross-section and decorated on each face. Length overall: 21.5 cm; maximum width (blade): 3.6 cm; maximum diameter (socket): 2 cm; maximum thickness of socket lip: 3.3 mm.

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: Killaloe Parish
The Bronze Age
Clare Archaeology

Bronze Socketed Spearhead, 1974:31

Bronze Socketed Spearhead, 1974:31

Bronze Socketed Spearhead, 1974:31
Click images for high resolution photographs

Photographs appear courtesy of the National Museum of Ireland

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