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.
To learn more about art and culture in the Bronze Age, visit our relevant blog post: The Bronze Age.
Bronze Age Spearhead
A European Bronze Age cast copper alloy spear-point of ogival shape, featuring beveled graded edges, prominent rounded midrib converging to the top and flowing into hollow conical shaft, and a socket pierced by two lateral peg-holes. The weapon displays the casting fault on the mid-rib. Spearheads of this type are more commonly found in the territories of Central Europe and were used through the Middle and Late Bronze Age.