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

Dating to the Middle Bronze Age (15000-1000 BC) and found in a bog in the townland of Boghill, parish of Kilfenora, barony of Corcomroe, the surface of this spearhead appears to have been cleaned and most of the patina has been removed. The blade is slender and narrow angled, expanded above the base. Along the edge of the blade the socket is sharply ridged. 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: 24.4 cm; maximum width (blade): 3.5 cm; the diameter at the mouth of the socket: 1.7 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: Boghil Townland, Kilfenora Parish
Clare Places: Kilfenora Parish
Parliamentary Gazetteer of Ireland 1845: Barony of Corcomroe
The Bronze Age
Clare Archaeology

Bronze Spearhead, looped, 1947:227

Bronze Spearhead, looped, 1947:227

Bronze Spearhead, looped, 1947:227

Bronze Spearhead, looped, 1947:227
Click image for high resolution photograph

Photographs appear courtesy of the National Museum of Ireland

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