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 Spearhead, looped

Found in the townland of Maghera, in the parish of Feakle, barony of Tulla Upper, and dating to the Middle Bronze Age (1500-1000 BC) this small bronze spearhead or javelin is considered to be in excellent condition except for a rather large hollow corroded through the blade’s mid-rib. The blade is slightly shouldered and has bevelled edges while the mid-rib for half its length is a continuation of the socket. 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: 11.9 cm; length of blade 6.1 cm; maximum width: 2.55 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.


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

Bronze Spearhead, looped, 1959:11

Bronze Spearhead, looped, 1959:11

Bronze Spearhead, looped, 1959:11

Bronze Spearhead, looped, 1959:11
Click images for high resolution photographs

Photographs appear courtesy of the National Museum of Ireland

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