Although most Bronze Age spearheads were intended for practical use as weapons in war and hunting, archaeologists believe that some were designed as religious offerings. Spearheads of all kinds were attached onto long handles (normally of ash or pinewood), with those functioning as votive offerings usually ritually thrown into bodies of water. Indeed, several Bronze Age spearheads have been recovered from the River Thames. Size gives the best indication as to a spearhead’s intended purpose: smaller spearheads usually were projectile weapons, whereas larger ones were thrusting weapons. The largest of spearheads were probably ceremonial, on account of their impractical size, with decoration and barbs serving as further indications of their ritual purpose.
Large Bronze Age Spearhead
A very fine Bronze-Age spearhead cast from bronze featuring a leaf shape blade with pointed barbs. A prominent midrib follows down the centre with parallel blood channels on either side. The blade terminates with a socketed end enriched with incised geometric designs. Green patination is visible to the surface.
Period: Bronze Age
Provenance: Acquired from John Cummings, UK, in 1988. Ex Lord Alistair McAlpine collection.
Condition: Very fine condition, chips to the edges of the blade and rim of the socket.