Going to pieces: investigating the deliberate destruction of Late Bronze Age swords and spearheads - NMS Research Repository
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Going to pieces: investigating the deliberate destruction of Late Bronze Age swords and spearheads

Abstract

The deliberate destruction of Late Bronze Age swords and spearheads has been widely recognised across Europe. This observation has typically relied on the obvious nature of the destruction, such as the bending of blades or the crushing of sockets, and the association of multiple broken pieces. These obvious acts have been used to interpret the material in sacred or profane terms without due consideration of how the objects were destroyed. This paper presents experimental research exploring how swords and spearheads may have been intentionally damaged in the Bronze Age. The results of these experiments are compared with artefacts from across Britain, making it possible to better identify and analyse deliberately destroyed objects. A series of implications for how one may more accurately interpret the wider archaeological record is presented.

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