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 Sword, flange hilted

Found in the townland of Kilkee, parish of Kilfieragh, barony of Moyarta, this Late Bronze Age (1000-600 BC) sword has a leaf-shaped blade and the cutting-edge is gapped and irregular. Ricasso is present and the cross section of the blade is a pointed oval. It has v-shaped shoulders and the hilt was broken off in antiquity at the shoulders and a new hilt cast on.

The parish of Kilfieragh comprises of 8591 statute acres with the greater part under tillage. In the centre of the parish is Dough bog, containing about 200 plantation acres and this bog extends into adjoining parishes. It is possible that this sword was found in such a bog. Length: 51.9cm; Max width (blade): 3cm; Width at shoulder: 4.4cm; Max T (blade): 6.5cm.

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: Kilkee Town
Clare Places: Kilfieragh Parish
Parliamentary Gazetteer of Ireland 1845: Barony of Moyarta
The Bronze Age
Clare Archaeology

Bronze Sword, flange hilted, 1966:104

Bronze Sword, flange hilted, 1966:104
Click image for high resolution photograph

Photographs appear courtesy of the National Museum of Ireland

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