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HOME : Near Eastern Art : Bronze Age : Set of Three Bronze Spearheads
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Set of Three Bronze Spearheads - SF.242
Origin: Central Asia
Circa: 1900 BC to 900 BC
Dimensions: 19" (48.3cm) high
Collection: Near Eastern
Medium: Bronze


Additional Information: sold

Location: Great Britain
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Description
Throughout the ages, civilization have risen and fallen based upon the sophistication of their weaponry. As metalworking became increasingly advanced, weapons became denser and harder. The first great advance in weaponry making occurred during the Bronze Age, when the most advanced metalworking techniques consisted of smelting copper and tin from naturally occurring outcroppings of ore, and then alloying those metals in order to cast bronze. Swords, spearheads, and arrowheads were cast from molten metal and, once cooled, hammered to increase the density. The invention of bronze may or may not have occurred independently in multiple places. The earliest known tin bronzes come from what is now Iran and Iraq and date to the late 4th millennium B.C., although there are claims of an earlier appearance of tin bronze in Thailand in the 5th millennium B.C. Arsenical bronzes were made in Anatolia, where there were rich deposits of copper and tin, and on both sides of the Caucasus by the early 3rd millennium B.C.

These weapons were forged at a time when bronze was the most valuable metal, worth far more than gold. Thus the intrinsic value of these objects in its own time leads one to question their function. Were they simply used for hunting and self-defense, or did they serve a higher ritual purpose? From a very early period bronze was used for ceremonial and utilitarian purposes. Spearheads would have fallen into both categories, since they were used in war and as important elements in ceremonies. Representing symbols of prestige and rank, they would then have been interred in tombs as objects highly desirable in the afterlife. These particular spearheads are very beautifully crafted, elegantly proportioned and in an excellent state of preservation. For such bronze work, highly skilled artisans would have been required, utilizing their talents for the elite group of people who could afford an object so powerful, and yet so elegant as these three spearheads. - (SF.242)

 

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