Riches of Clare Exhibition - Power

...to 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 Spearhead, looped

Found in a bog at Alva townland, parish of Kilmacduane, in the barony of Moyarta, this Middle Bronze Age (1500-1000 BC) spearhead is in good condition. The slender blade expands in curve at the base. Socketed spearheads like these were cast in complex moulds with a plug to form the socket, a technology introduced late in the Earlier Bronze Age. Length: 24cm. Width across blade: 3.5cm; Diameter at mouth: 2cm.

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.

P1953: 69

Clare Places: Alva Townland, Kilmacduane Parish
Clare Places: Kilmacduane Parish
Parliamentary Gazetteer of Ireland 1845: Barony of Moyarta
The Bronze Age
Clare Archaeology

Bronze Spearhead, looped, P1953:69

Bronze Spearhead, looped, P1953:69

Bronze Spearhead, looped, P1953:69
Click images for high resolution photographs

Photographs appear courtesy of the National Museum of Ireland


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